It's Not Divorce, But Our Attitudes And Actions About Divorce That Damages Our Children
There are several studies that show that divorce can have lasting and damaging effects on our children. However, the simple truth is that it is not the divorce itself that damages children, but the actions and the attitudes that parents have about divorce that causes the damages. Here are 5 damaging things about divorce and how to avoid them.
1. Viewing Your Ex as the Enemy. Probably the one thing that most people do when they divorce that causes the most damage to the children of divorce is that they view their Ex as the enemy. Two people who once loved one another enough to marry and have children together can also have strong feelings about ending their marriage. Hurt, anger, a sense of failure all combine and we feel the need to take these feelings out on someone and who better than our Ex, the cause of these feelings. Once you see your Ex as the enemy, then you are more than willing to go to war over anything and everything and like in any war, there are innocent victims, namely the children. If you really want your children to get through your divorce undamaged, then quit viewing your Ex as the enemy. You once loved them enough to want a life together so focus on their better qualities and try to view them in the most positive light possible.
2. Overcompensating For Our Guilt. Of course you feel guilty that your marriage failed and that your children no longer have two parents living under one roof, however overcompensating by letting your children get away with murder or trying to buy their affection only does more damage than good. Children need routine and discipline in order to feel safe, secure, and love and overcompensating by ignoring the routine and discipline or getting too involved in your child's life. Children need routine, discipline and a well adjusted parent in order to feel secure and safe. So, be the single parent and do what needs to be done to deal with that guilt without making your child a “victim” of your need to overcompensate for your own guilt.
3. Refusing To Move On With Your Own Life. Another one of our actions that can damage our children far more than the divorce itself, is refusing to move on with your own life. Letting yourself continue to mourn the loss of your marriage, and refusing to build a new life for yourself and your children not only leaves you stuck, but leaves them stuck as well. Children need to feel secure and safe which is not something they can accomplish when they see one of their parents sink into a depression and dwell on what might have been. You need to deal with your own feelings about the break up of your family before you can help your children deal with their feelings and the best thing you can do for your child is to deal with your feelings and begin to move on with your life so that they can move on with theirs.
Remember you are the adult and the single parent. Finding positive ways to deal with the divorce and moving on with your life is the only way to help your child get through the divorce undamaged.