What NOT To Do As A Parent During A Divorce

The Most Harmful Things Parents Can Do To Their Children During Divorce

Everyone involved in a divorce goes through a difficult and emotionally charged process, but children especially. Parents are crucial in helping their kids get through this trying time. Even though divorce can often be needed, parents must be conscious of the possible harm their actions may do to their children’s well-being. Today we examine some of the most detrimental things parents can do to their kids during a divorce, highlighting the potential long-term consequences these behaviors may have.

Exposing Children to Conflict: Involving children in parental disputes is one of the worst things parents can do when going through a divorce. A child’s emotional health can be seriously impacted by ongoing exposure to parental fights, conflicts, and antagonism. Children who witness parental disagreement may develop anxiety, despair, and low self-esteem. It is imperative that parents keep their kids out of these arguments and find a solution outside of their presence.


Using Children as Messengers: Using their children as messengers or intermediates between them is a destructive practice that divorcing parents may engage in. The children are forced to traverse the emotional minefield of their parents’ communication, which throws an undue strain on them. Children who engage in such behavior may experience guilt, perplexity, and loyalty difficulties. To prevent including their kids in their arguments, parents should develop open lines of communication that are courteous and direct.


Speaking Negatively of the Other Parent: Speaking poorly about the other parent in front of the children is a very detrimental habit. For children to thrive, both parents’ love, support, and involvement in their lives is essential. Children become distrustful of both parents when one of them disparages the other. They could feel conflicted about their allegiances, which can cause emotional pain and damaged relationships. Instead of disparaging one another, parents should promote a kindly and polite attitude towards the other parent.


Neglecting the Child’s Emotional Needs: Divorce may be a difficult period for children emotionally, causing them to experience despair, rage, and uncertainty. It can be quite detrimental to ignore a child’s emotional needs during this time. A safe environment for open communication, as well as assurance and support, must be provided by parents in addition to being aware of their children’s feelings. Children can process their emotions in a healthy way with the help of professionals, such as through counseling.


For families, divorce is a challenging and life-changing event, especially for the children involved. Parents must be conscious of the possible harm they can unintentionally cause their kids at this time. Parents can lessen the negative effects of divorce on their children by refraining from actions like exposing children to conflict, using them as messengers, disparaging the other parent, inconsistent parenting, and ignoring their emotional needs. Parents may help their kids get through this difficult time and foster their emotional and psychological resilience by putting their kids’ needs first.


(2017, December 4). The 5 Worst Things You Can Do To Your Children During Divorce. Jones Divorce Law. https://jonesdivorcelaw.com/blog/conflict-children-divorce/

Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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