Navigation of custody and divorce is complex, but the greatest priority should always be the well-being of your kids. Even the most well-intentioned parents can make serious mistakes in the midst of a separation. It is important to be conscientious of how you are treating your kids throughout the process and how they are adjusting to the changes that are taking place.
These are three of the most common faux pas that parents can make when going through a divorce or custody battle. If you want to help your kids get through the transition of a divorce smoothly, it is imperative that you avoid these and other careless mistakes.
Making the child a messenger
According to the Huffington Post, this is one of the most detrimental mistakes you can make. It is never your children's responsibility to act as agents between you and your ex. Putting them in this position imposes extreme stress and pressure on them, and it sends the message that their parents are not mature enough to communicate.
Unintentionally manipulating kids
Even if you are not intentionally badmouthing your ex, you can subtly manipulate children to favor you, and it is even possible to do so unintentionally. Asking loaded questions or reacting negatively to a mention of the other parent are just a few ways you can affect your kids' perception and unfairly influence them to think ill of your ex.
Bad-talking your ex to them
Sometimes parents unintentionally manipulate their children, but other times, it is nothing short of deliberate. No matter what events preceded your separation, it is never ok to badmouth your ex in front of your child. Doing so puts them in the position of having to disregard your opinion or continue interacting with a parent they think less of. This also models poor communication and resolution skills at a time when positive modeling is imperative.