What Not to Say to Your Child About Divorce

What Not to Say to Your Child About Divorce :By Randy Jones

 

What You Say Today Can Haunt You Tomorrow

It is more than likely the hardest emotional phase a child will ever live through. Puberty? no, first break up? try again. The number one emotional event that can cause more permanent scares than any possible life is that of divorce.

With an overwhelming divorce rate taking our country by storm family courts have become the meeting place and what use to be considered the home front is now the battle field. While both sides arm up to go to court they try and gather all the moral support they need to feed them on how right they are and how wrong the other side is. During this forming of the two armies there is always one set of recruits that get caught way to often in the middle of this battle of be on my side. These that we try to recruit are the children of the two.There is nothing that makes the ultimate tug of war than a child or children stuck between two people who can no longer see eye to eye or communicate with each other.In a study conducted in the state of Michigan in 1990 named “Life Course” conducted by Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill 1,075,000 children under the age of 18 had their parents divorce. In the same study sixty one percent from the first marriage will see a parent divorce for a second time. If these statistics amaze you, they are only a drop in the bucket to the total impact that many children go through during this very traumatic event.As a divorce proceeds and the couple are living apart or in some cases still living in the same house they start out on a good note concerning the children and try and share time and work in the divorce as part of the new everyday life. In some cases as the divorce proceeds so do the emotions of the two involved. These emotions can sometimes come out in form of downplaying the other parent or trying to win the support of a child by pleading their case to the child and generally playing the role of a victim while making the other parent to be the bad one.There are a few guide lines any divorcing couple should keep in mind when the child or children are old enough to understand what is taking place. As a child of divorce and a divorcee I can speak first hand that while this is a very stressful time for both sides you have to remember that todays words can be tomorrow’s retribution. One thing you never want to say to a child is that one or the other of the parent’s of the divorce or separation is the main fault. Bashing the mother or father of the child in front of them or directly to them is a quick method of the child building resentment toward one or both of you. Making statements like “They just didn’t want us to be a family any more” is another traumatic statement because this can cause a child to wonder if they were the reason for the marital split. Sometimes emotions and personal feelings of spouses get relayed to children even if it is being done unknowingly. Children do not need to be told who was to blame or he did this and she did that . Statements like these will only push children into a self evaluation that they have to choose or mom or dad will be upset with them.One of the most damaging statements that could ever be told to a child during a divorce is that (they are the cause of the whole situation.) This can not only lead to a child’s low self esteem, but statements of this type have led children of divorce to have more psychological problems such as sever weight gain or loss, trouble in school, destructive behavior such as alcoholism, drug abuse or even suicide. Is this price worth it to feel you have made your point. Children of divorce in some cases will have statistics against them as they grow up and try to sustain a successfully relationship or marriage because how they see parents react will imprint a path for them follow as they grow older. If they see parents react with bashing or violence chances are they will as well. If they hear parents blame the children during the relationship or marriage chances are they will follow suit because this is how they have been programed. Divorce on a child is much more stressful than the adaptation of the adults. Children have to figure how to complete the family circle in their heads while coming to grasps that mom and dad are no longer living together or going on vacation together.Expressing one’s negativity of another in front of their own children is not only self centered but can have heavy long term results in the productivity of a child’s own ability to grow up and have a happy relationship. So using self control and keeping your statements of blame or character for when your in front of a Family Court and out of the house will definitely help in the mental process of a child adapting to divorce.

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