If your relationship with your spouse has been unstable for awhile, you may be thinking about divorce. Sometimes a divorce is the best option. It can present a new beginning for both spouses.
Even so, divorce is difficult for everyone involved, specifically children. There aren’t many circumstances that include a child wanting to see their parents split up. There are a few "dos" and "don'ts" you can follow to lessen the emotional turmoil you and your child will endure during the transition.
When going through divorce, here are some "don'ts" to keep in mind:
- Don’t talk bad about your spouse in front of your child: Your child is not someone you can vent to about the resentment you feel toward your soon-to-be-ex. He or she is still your child’s father or mother, and your child is already confused about the situation. Don’t try to manipulate them into picking one parent over the other.
- Don’t use your child as a middleman: Your child is not a messenger. They shouldn’t be required to deliver your messages to your spouse. If you would like to communicate a message to your spouse, it’s best to do it yourself.
- Don’t keep your child from your ex: Unless it’s a dire circumstance, or you have legal backing to do so, don’t use your child as a weapon. No matter how much you despise your partner, it could be hurtful to withhold your child from seeing their other parent.
During divorce, here are some "dos" to keep in mind:
- Do take care of yourself: Divorce is full of complicated emotions. During this challenging time, even though you are the one managing the most emotions, your child needs a stable presence. Therefore, it’s essential to take care of your body and your mind. Don’t forget to take part in positive activities, eat well, and exercise. Doing so will allow you to continue to be the best parent you can be.
- Do keep family routines: When preparing your child for the transition, try to keep their routines as intact as possible. Consider meal times, after-school obligations, homework schedules, and whatever else may be part of their routine.
- Do maintain a support group: Support groups provide you with space to express your feelings as you go through divorce. They often include individuals who have gone through similar situations. Other viable support options are trustworthy family members, dependable friends, or even a therapist. This effort all boils down to mental health to keep yourself resilient during and after the divorce as you transition into your new life.