No matter how much you prepare, divorce is incredibly difficult. It is often a long and stressful process in which you have to make some very hard decisions. For example, you will have to decide if it will be better to sell you house in St. Louis and divide the proceeds or to keep it. If you have children, that will make your separation, divorce and the aftermath even more difficult.
Both during and after your divorce, it is important that you try to limit the effects on your children as much as possible. By avoiding these mistakes, you can lessen the emotional impact your divorce might have on your kids.
Don’t use them as messengers
Whatever you do, do not try to communicate with your soon-to-be ex-husband through your children. Not only do you risk a message being lost in translation, but by doing this you will put additional stress on your children. If you need to address an issue or negotiate with your ex about something, either do it directly or through your respective attorneys.
Don’t use them for therapy
No matter how much you need to express your feelings to another human being, any human being, do not use your children for therapy. Even if they seem to sympathize with you, they should not be your outlet for the stress of your divorce. Instead, talk to a close friend or see a professional therapist.
Don’t interrogate them
Do not endlessly question your children after they spend a weekend at their father’s. Doing this may make your kids feel like they are in the rope in a tug-of-war match. Try to avoid putting them in such an impossible position. Keep your questions general and light.
Repair any damage done
If you have already made any of the above mistakes, it is not too late. In general, children are very forgiving. Explain to them the mistakes you have made, apologize for any negative feelings you inspired and work on a strategy to avoid making these mistakes again in the future.
If you are thinking about divorce, try to not to make any of the above mistakes with your children. By trying to limit the effects of the divorce, your kids can go on to have healthy relationships with both you and their other parent.