How to Maintain Parent-Child Relationship During a Divorce
A strong parent-child relationship is necessary for the emotional, social, and physical development of a child. Unfortunately, this relationship often breaks down during a divorce. Below are some measures to help you maintain your relationship with your child during a divorce.
Conflicts between parents affect the parent-child relationship. For example, the child might view one parent as the antagonist and the other as the victim. In that case, the child’s relationship with the perceived antagonist might suffer.
Minimize conflict during your divorce to avoid such effects. Here are some helpful tips:
- Try alternative divorce methods, such as mediation, instead of litigation
- Focus on the facts of the case
- Look to the future (post-divorce life) instead of the past
- Consult relevant professionals, such as a divorce lawyer, therapist, and financial expert
Keep all unavoidable conflicts away from the child.
In some divorces, one parent ends up doing all or most of the childcare tasks. Such an arrangement might strain the relationship between the child and the aloof parent. Find a way to keep both parents in the child’s life. Say one parent has moved out of the marital home. Create a temporary custody or visitation schedule so that both of you can continue to parent the child.
Miscommunication or lack of adequate communication can also strain children’s relationship with their parents during and after a divorce. For example, young children sometimes feel responsible for their parent’s separation. The best way to dispel such feelings is to communicate with the child and help them understand their innocence.
Don’t Rush Into a New Relationship
When a parent gets into a new relationship during or right after a divorce, the child will likely resent the parent plus their new partner. The child might blame the new person for the breakdown of their parent’s relationship, even if that is not the case.
Avoid such misunderstandings by not rushing into new relationships. Ideally, you should avoid new relationships during the divorce. If the time comes for a new relationship after the divorce, communicate with the child to help them understand the dynamics. Help your child understand that you are not replacing their biological parent, and you will continue to love them.
Avoid Parental Alienation
Parental alienation arises if one parent uses unorthodox tactics to turn a child against the other parent. For example, the alienator might:
- Blame the other parent for the divorce in front of the child
- Divulge unnecessary details, such as extramarital affairs, to the child
- Bar the child from talking or visiting with the other parent
Parental alienation is bad, whether it’s intentional or not. Instead, the parents should encourage positive interaction between each parent and the child.
Don’t Lean on Your Child
Divorce is an emotional thing. People usually lean on others, such as friends, family members, or religious leaders, to help them cope with their emotions during the process. Some parents also lean on their children, which is not advisable.
Children usually can’t deal with divorce issues healthily. Even older children don’t have the emotional maturity to help their parents during divorce. Leaning on your child might ruin your relationship with them. Lean on other mature adults or consult a professional therapist to help you cope with the divorce’s emotional aspects so that you can help your children cope as well.
The Law Offices of Lynda Latta LLC can help you handle your divorce in a professional and tidy manner. Indeed, you should let relevant professionals handle your divorce as you focus on you and your child’s welfare. We will also help you avoid a protracted divorce that can worsen the parent-child relationship even more. Contact us for a divorce consultation today.