One of the toughest challenges one may face in life is a divorce. This is a difficult time for both the mother and the father, but what we sometimes forget is that the children who may also face the same and even some additional unique challenges. Consequently, children of divorced families have “rights” that should not be overlooked, and the best interests of the child is of prominent importance in any family matter.
Certain factors must be considered when engaging in the divorce process in order to protect the children.
Children should not be subjected to choosing sides. Sometimes, a parent will “badmouth” their spouse, when speaking to their child. This could potentially lead to parental alienation, and damaging long term effects between a parent and a child, or the child may withdraw from all the slander expressed against the parent who is vocally negative about the other parent. A parent needs to leave all the bitterness and legal proceedings of the marriage and separation behind, when speaking to their child.
Privacy is very important in a child’s life during a divorce. Some parents may try to monitor their child’s phone use or cross-examine them after spending time with the other parent. Situations like these are harmful to both the parent and the child, as there’s no quicker way to agitate a child than to imply that you don’t trust them. Keeping a child’s privacy is essential in any divorcing family.
Finally, the child’s right to express their feelings and emotions should be respected. Occasionally, parents choose to ignore a child’s inquiries regarding the separation, or they avoid listening to the child’s thoughts on the matter. This may create the impression that the child’s feelings and opinions don’t really matter. Allow the child to speak his/her mind and also acknowledge their concerns.
They have many worries regarding their new family situation and need to feel that there will be some semblance of a family unit that remains even after the divorce. By not expecting them to choose sides, respecting their privacy, and listening when they speak about the subject, you have helped secure their rightful place in the divorce process and the future of the family.