Will My Children Be OK?
by: Sandra Lee | Website
Will My Children Be OK?
This is a question I hear about 100% of the time when I am coaching a client or couple who are going through divorce and have children. They want someone to assure them their children will come through the divorce without bruises and scars.
Of course I cannot guarantee anyone their children will not be wounded by their parent’s divorce but I can help parent(s) make some conscious choices through their words and actions that will definitely keep the best interest of their children as a primary focus and goal.
Going through the process is emotional, financial and effects all aspects of life previously lived in a marriage. Everyone will react and heal differently but never doubt that your children are watching you. How well you cope and co-parent will be the biggest indicator of how well your children will do.
Here are 3 important points to remember as you are parenting the children through and beyond your divorce.
- Your kids are the kids and you are the adult. They aren’t emotionally equipped to handle all the messy details, accusations, negotiations and fault finding that goes on during the divorce process. Even if you are doing a good job of not sharing too much with them directly you should be consciously aware of when they are in earshot of your conversations. Also be insightful to written information you leave lying around; guard your phone messages so they can’t hear things they don’t need to – as well as your texts, emails, Facebook post and the like – you never know when a child may intentionally or by mistake stumble onto information that isn’t healthy for them to know or see.
- Don’t discuss adult issues with the kids. Parents should erect an invisible fence around their divorcing hurts and reasons from their co-parenting responsibilities and sharing of the kids. You will be in a relationship at some level as long as you have kids so work hard to make it as healthy for them as you can. If you find you have allowed the boundaries between your fences to open – stop – reevaluate and put that fence back up.
- Set aside your own emotions as difficult as they may be and listen to your children. Be respectful to your children – they are hurting and scared and need to know they are safe to share with you. Try not to give more information than currently being asked for. Encourage them to ask questions and talk when they are ready. But you must also remember to be ready and willing to listen and hear what they are saying.
Kids are resilient. They want to be free to love both their parents. They want both their parents to love them. They want to know both of their parents are ok and then they will trust they will also be ok.
Sandra Lee is a Certified Divorce Coach and Mediator with Emerge Victorious, growing through and beyond your divorce and has 16 years of experience.