Three Things That Parents Should Not Do to Kids When Divorcing

In a prior post, we highlighted some helpful tips to help parents with the difficulties of telling kids about divorce. After all, kids want their parents to get along and stay together. They don’t necessarily like the prospect of their family breaking up or the uncertainty that a divorce can bring. With that said, parents must tread carefully when explaining what is going to happen.

But invariably, high emotions can turn a well-meaning parent into a tyrant. Because of this, there are certain things that parents should not do when discussing a pending divorce with the children. This post will highlight a few.

Keep from blaming the other parent – Marriage is a team effort; both parents must work together in order to make it successful. Ironically, divorce is a team effort as well; as both parties must agree (absent a court order) on making the best of it. With that said, try not to blame the other parent for the demise of the relationship, or the change in the family dynamic. This can end up hurting the kids involved.

Keep the kids out of the middle – We previously recommended that parents announce the divorce together. In the event that this is not possible, the child should not be made to be the messenger between parents or be forced to be a spy.

Children should not have to choose – When divorces occur, invariably one parent moves out of the family home. This means that they have another house where the children could stay. However, children should not be made to choose between parents’ homes.