Anger Training: The Best Interest of the Child
Parenting: During a Divorce, Keep Kids from the Conflict between Parents
As a case analyst mediating cases around custody and visitation issues, I often get asked what the best interest of a child is when parents are divorcing. The real question is, What is important to a child when parents are not getting along”? If you have a few seconds, answer this question. In addition, ask your ex-spouse to answer the same question and, if possible, both of you should sit down and compare notes. Perhaps this can be a tool to help both of you to start communicating with less conflict. Good Luck!
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Children need to be reassured that they are not to blame for the divorce and also that both parents still love him/her unconditionally.
2. Children do not want to see their parents fighting and calling each other names because when mom disrespects dad- mom is also disrespecting the child. For example, if a child is told your father is no good”. A child can start to feel that because dad is a part of him that this means the child is no good either.
3. Children do not want to be badgered or interrogated about what happens at either parent’s home. The child’s time with his mom or dad should be just that- it should not be a chance for the child to be used as a spy”.
4. Children do not want to be messengers. You are the parents speak to one another to solve the problems do not include your child.
5. Children want to be able to visit with each parent stress-free. Do not discourage communication with the other parent because you are not getting along. Encourage the child to build a relationship with both of you. Remember children have loyalty issues and if they get a feeling that mom is not happy with them visiting dad- the child is more likely to act out or avoid visiting with the father.
6. Children need a balance and some consistency. If the child has a specific routine for napping and eating, continue to follow this schedule. Do not alter the schedule because you are angry at the other parent.
7. Children have questions and they want answers. Answer their questions honestly without being overly emotional and avoid including excess details about the divorce process and the other parent.
8. Children need parents who are on the same page. Both parents should know emergency contact information, school information, medical information, specific medication schedules, feeding time and nap time. Sharing is caring!