Breaking up is hard to do, but when there are children involved; the process is extremely difficult. Children often feel that they are the reason their parents split up, or that they are caught in the middle. Consequently, children are often used as pawns in a game between the parents, and this tug-of-war can cause them to become emotionally distressed. Here are five tips for helping your child go through your Tennessee divorce.
1. Make Sure They Know They Are Loved
Children often feel to blame for the divorce. Both parents need to reassure them that they had nothing to do with the process. They need to know that they have the love and support of both parents and that won’t change just because everyone doesn’t live in the same household anymore.
2. Don’t Sugarcoat The Situation
A problem that many parents run into is that they often sugarcoat the situation. Your children are smart and they probably know more than what you think they do. Be honest with them in all things. They don’t need to know all the dirty details, but if a parent fell in love with someone else; they need to know the truth. Don’t allow them to hear facts from other people; it will only breed resentment with the child and the parents.
3. Encourage Communication
Many parents tell their children what’s going on and how they feel, but they don’t allow them to express their feelings. Though what they say may be hard to handle, a parent needs to know what is inside their child’s mind and heart. Remember, this is also difficult for them and they don’t always know how to express themselves. Typically, children will act out when they are trying to tell someone they are hurting.
4. Make Sure They Get To See Both Parents
Usually, one part is considered the custodial parent and the other one has visitations. However, more Tennessee courts are suggesting shared parenting for the benefits of the child. Though the child will go from house to house more, they will get equal time with both parents. This isn’t always an option but it is the best option for a child who desires to be with both mother and father. If there is a visitation schedule, make sure to keep it. Though you may be busy at work and forget, that no-show will forever be etched in the child’s brain.
5. Never Fight In Front of the Kids or Make Them Choose
The worst thing that a parent could do is to put their child in-between a couple’s problems. Never talk about the other parent in front of the child, and never try to buy their affection to outdo the other one. Children will often become wise to these games and use it to their advantage.
Divorce is one of the worst processes that a person can go through in their lifetime. However, with love and support from both sides, the child can maintain a relationship with both parents.