No one knows your children better than you do. This is why you likely feel most capable of making decisions in their best interests as you navigate the divorce process. Even if you may not have seen the divorce coming, you’re a realist, and you may have explained to your kids that although their lives are about to change, that does not mean their lives will be ruined. From speaking to friends who have gone through similar experiences, you’ve learned that all children adapt to post-divorce lifestyles in their own, unique ways.
You want to focus on what’s best for your children, and you want to make sure their well-being is a central focus in your divorce proceedings as well. The good news is that there are support resources available to help you in court. On the home front, there are several things you can do, and some things you want to avoid, to help your kids move forward to a happy future.
Here’s what you don’t want to do
It’s true that not every day can be a good day, especially when your family is going through major life changes. You’ll have ups and downs, but you likely always strive to do your best to offer your children love and support along the way. The following list includes things to avoid because they often cause more harm than good:
- Arguing with your former spouse about divorce-related issues in front of your kids
- Pitting your kids against their other parent or asking them to spy on his or her personal life
- Speaking negatively or complaining about your former spouse when your children are present
- Trying to get back at your spouse by using your children, such as denying him or her a visit, especially if there’s an existing court order that allows visitation
- Asking your children to deliver messages to your former spouse because you dislike having to speak to him or her yourself
- Sharing too many details with your children regarding divorce proceedings
On that last note, adult should keep adult matters private because children are not always emotionally mature enough to handle such issues. They may also become stressed or confused if they feel caught between their parents. In fact, in Nebraska and most other states, the court generally believes that children of divorce fare best when they maintain active, close relationships with both parents.
Things you can do to help your kids
By reminding your children often that you love them and letting them know you are there to support them as they adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle, you can help them rebound and address any emotional challenges that arise along the way. You can also access outside support systems when it’s in your children’s best interests.