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Advice For Divorcing Parents. Are You Making 3 Common Divorce Mistakes That Harm Your Children?

Divorcing parents can get so caught up in their painful breakup that they may make three common mistakes which harm their children. If you are making any of these mistakes, consider three things you can do instead to help you and your children grow through your divorce.

Mistake Number One: Making Your Child The Messenger

If you have shut down communication with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you may think it’s convenient to ask your child to become your messenger, giving and receiving messages on behalf of each parent. Think again. What kind of message does this send your child about your adult communication skills?

What To Do Instead:

Rise above your differences with your spouse and become a role model who shows your child how to face and deal with one of the most painful challenges you can face in adult life. Someone needs to take the high road in all break up interactions, and it might as well be you. You will feel proud of your break up behavior and your child will, too.

Mistake Number Two: Depriving Your Child Of Parental Bonding Time

If your spouse did you wrong, you may want to punish them by depriving them of time with your child. This makes your child feel like they are divorcing one parent, which can steal their childhood joy and their ability to form a loving, enduring relationship as an adult.

What To Do Instead:

It is in the best interest of your child to encourage them to spend and enjoy time with each parent, even if you blame your spouse for breaking up the family. Your child will be healthier and happier throughout their lifetime if they maintain a solid bond and open communication with each parent.

If your ex remarries, you may tell your child that this is one more person who will love them. This frees your child to have a healthy, positive relationship with their new step parent without hurting or offending you. If this upsets you or it feels impossible to implement, call a life coach to help you work through it. It’s your issue, not your child’s.

Mistake Number Three: Criticizing Your Spouse In Front Of Your Child

If you feel like the victim of bad behavior from your spouse, you may be tempted to criticize and blame your spouse and encourage your child to take your side in the break up. Family experts assure us that a child identifies with each parent. If you criticize one parent, you are criticizing the part of the child who identifies with this parent, and you are hurting your child with each critical remark.

What To Do Instead:

If you need to vent criticism and blame, call a life coach or pastor who will help you work through your negativity.

Intense anger can be vented privately, when no children are at home, by placing your offending spouse’s picture on a pillow and pounding it with a tennis racket. Your critical remarks have the same impact on the psyche of your child, so it is important that you avoid any hint of criticism.

You also may teach your child to avoid thinking like a victim, when you take responsibility for your role in the break up.

You forgive yourself and your former spouse for anything you did or neglected to do that hurt each other.

You accept the love lessons you learned, so you won’t repeat them in your next relationship.

You may explain this to your child when they are old enough and mature enough to understand this. In doing so, you guide your family onto the path of personal growth and family unity, even when your family is living in separate homes.

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