How can you minimize the anxiety and fear your children will experience from your divorce? Watch your words! As a parenting educator having worked with so many well-meaning, loving parents for so many years, I believe it's a divorced parent's single biggest responsibility.
No matter how much anger and disdain you may feel toward each other as a couple, kids can't divorce their parents. And while you probably know that it's never good to badmouth your ex in front of your child, here's something you may not realize: When you direct anything negative toward your former spouse—including snide comments, eye rolling and any other disapproving signals—your kid is put in an impossible position.
Your child suffers from a stream of emotions too powerful and contradictory for a young mind to process. A child wants—and deserves—the freedom to love her two parents. When your child receives mixed signals from either of you, it forces her to question her very identity. Here, the most common feelings kids face when they witness negative interactions between their parents and practical tips to help you avoid hurting them: Read: 1 In 4 Kids In Divorce Becomes Parental Pawn
Fear and confusion: When you bicker with one another in front of your child, he feels overwhelmed with emotion. And the younger the child, the more he feels as though he is the cause of your fights. When children watch their parents fight they feel helpless and blame themselves. They want to stop their parents from fighting but are powerless to do it. Staying Together For the Kids
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Written by Nancy Samalin for First Wives World.
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