Divorce is a challenging experience that can take a significant toll on the emotional well-being of everyone involved. As parents, it is essential to remember that our words can have a profound impact on our children during this time.
To reduce the amount of stress on children during your divorce, there are specific topics and phrases to avoid. By steering clear of these subjects, you can help support your children as they navigate this period in their lives.
What to Not to Do When Telling Children About Divorce
As a parent, it is important to recognize that your words have a powerful impact on your child, especially when they are young. This influence extends not only to how you talk about your child but also to how you talk about others.
For example, studies have shown that children pick up on and internalize the negative feelings and opinions of their parents about specific groups or people. This is why it is crucial to be mindful of what you say about others, particularly during a divorce when emotions are heightened. By being aware of your words, you can help your child develop a healthy mindset even after going through divorce. Here are a few things to avoid telling your children:
While lying to your children about the divorce may initially seem like the best way to shield them from the difficult truth, it can actually lead to future problems. Avoiding honest conversations about the situation can impact a child's trust and their ability to develop healthy coping mechanisms for their own emotions.
Examples can include:
- Denial of the divorce altogether
- Telling children that the situation is temporary
- Lying about why one parent is leaving
Being open and transparent with your children about what's happening during a divorce may be difficult, but it can ultimately lead to a stronger relationship and better understanding for everyone involved. While your children may not need to know every exact detail, it is best not to fib when talking to them about divorce.
It’s important to remember that when you’re a parent, every action you take can have a butterfly effect on your child. This includes the way you speak about your spouse in front of them.
Examples to avoid include:
- “This is all your mother/father’s fault.”
- “Your mother/father is a horrible person.”
- “If it weren’t for your mother/father we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Even if you don’t mean to, assigning blame, belittling, or criticizing your spouse in front of your child can indirectly criticize your child as well. It might make them feel as though they need to choose sides or that it’s their responsibility to fix whatever issue is going on between their parents. Keep in mind that your spouse is still your child’s parent and try to avoid doing or saying anything that could negatively impact your child's relationship with their mother or father.
When going through a divorce, it's important to remember that arguing in front of your children can have severe emotional and physical effects on them. Some children may become anxious or hopeless, while others may act out with anger and aggression, causing behavior problems at home and in school.
Sleep disturbances, headaches, stomach aches, and frequent illnesses are also common symptoms. To avoid these negative consequences, it's best to have conversations away from your children and seek support from a therapist or mediator if necessary.
Contact Our Attorneys for Legal Help
Understanding the impact of your words can help your child navigate through the divorce process. Remember to be honest, avoid assigning blame, show respect for the other parent, and keep arguments private. By doing so, you will minimize the emotional burden on your children and help them maintain healthy relationships with both parents.
Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional time. If you are navigating this process, it's important to have legal representation that you can trust. At the Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C., we have extensive experience in family law matters and can provide the guidance you need during this challenging period.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can assist you. Call (516) 514-3868 or fill out our form online.