A previous post on this blog discussed how Corte Madera, California, parents can talk to their kids about an impending divorce or a legal separation or, for that matter, a proceeding that has just started. How a parent handles these conversations can be the difference between helping a child get over the trauma of a divorce or separation quickly and, on the other hand, leaving the child with a lot of unresolved fears.
With the same principle in mind, this post will discuss how parents can handle communication with their children during an even after a divorce or separation.
As is often repeated these days, it is ideal when parents are able to get along reasonably well and communicate about issues related to their children have a better chance of seeing their kids through the process with their self-esteem and confidence intact. Therefore, parents should think about collaborative divorce, mediation or other techniques meant to minimize conflict.
When there is little to no conflict between the two parents, it helps reinforce in the children that, indeed, they are not at fault for their parents’ situation and there is no “good” or “bad” parent, but just two people who love their children even in the midst of their conflict with each other. It is even better when the children actually see their parents communicating and working as a team even though they are separated.
When conflict is inevitable, or when there has been abuse or some other special circumstance, the key to good communication with a parent’s children is not to berate or disparage the other parent in front of the children, use the children as intermediary or even discuss the issues in detail with the children. While this won’t take away the conflict, it will keep the children protected from the instability or, at least, give the children the confidence that, no matter the issues, their lives will remain secure.