Parents and High Conflict Situations
Going through a divorce is usually a difficult process, and it can create tension and high conflict situations even in the best of circumstances. Finding ways to better deal with those situations is important, and it is essential when children are involved. There will always be some amount of stress and sadness for the children when parents are going through a divorce. It’s a major transition in their life, and it can take them time to get accustomed to the changes.
However, parents can take steps to improve the situation. Parents should make the children the focus of the decisions they make, but they should never be caught in the middle of a fight. The parenting decisions always need to be centered on the children, but parents must keep them away from the nastiness that can occur during a divorce. Most parents will agree with this assessment, but they may not always know how to do it. This can be difficult because the parents are typically at odds with one another during a divorce.
Keeping Calm and Collected is Not Always Easy
Every divorce is different because there are two unique humans involved in the split, and the emotional intelligence level can be different. Ideally, both parents will be on the same page and will strive to do what’s best for the children, even though it might be uncomfortable for them. In these cases, the adults will have the ability to stay grounded and centered without letting disagreements or arguments escalate. They won’t say things that are hurtful to their soon-to-be-ex that the children could overhear or that could cause an argument to erupt.
However, many people don’t have this capability. They let their emotions—anger, sadness, frustration, etc.—get the better of them. Often, all it takes is one comment said under the breath to start a fight. This is unhealthy, and it can cause more harm to the children than many parents realize.
If people are unable to control their emotions and frustration by being in the same house as the other parent, it will impact their mood around their children. The children will pick up on this, and it can cause more tension and sadness in the home. In situations where people aren’t able to control their emotions, whether the arguments are large or small, it may be in the best interests of the children for one parent to leave the home and stay somewhere else. This is better than having the kids in a home that is filled with negativity and conflict. When one person leaves, the tension levels will often drop.
Of course, there are other factors that affect whether a person is able to leave the home during the divorce. Finances are a prime problem in many cases. It isn’t always possible for someone to afford to have another place to live, and they may not have anywhere they can stay.
Be Aware that Conflict Can Remain After the Divorce
Parents need to keep in mind that they still need to find ways to reduce the level of conflict that their children see and experience. Sometimes, a parent will owe child support or spousal support. This will naturally cause tension. However, parents shouldn’t yell, scream, and berate the other party in front of the children. They also don’t want to talk badly about the other parent to their children or where their children might overhear. Parents need to remain calm and keep the children out of that as much as possible.
Because of the frustration that’s felt, parents will often have to remind themselves to stay calm. They have to think about the potential damage they could be doing to their children. Being in a conflict-riddled situation can have effects on them now and in their future. Parents need to make a concerted effort to stop and think about the things they are saying and doing and to make changes when needed.
Of course, there are things other than money that can frustrate parents after the divorce is finalized. Because there are children involved, they still need to deal with their former spouse, and it can be difficult. Again, it’s important for parents to realize that the negativity they may be harboring for one another is damaging to the kids as well as to themselves. Parents need to learn to become emotionally and financially independent, as this will help to eliminate the lingering hold that their ex-spouse may have on them.
When dealing with the other spouse, it’s important to consider what the triggers are that can cause anger. Finding ways to avoid those triggers or finding ways to get past those triggers will be essential for parents to move on and become happier and healthier. This will also allow the children to be happier and healthier. Getting past the problems is difficult, but it is important. After all, parents will often have to work with one another to provide what’s best for the children. Parent-teacher conferences where both parents are present are a good example of this. Sniping and arguing with one another at a meeting like this doesn’t do any good and will likely only cause more problems.
The Children Should Always Come First
First and foremost, parents need to realize and agree that their children are the most important aspect of their lives. The disagreements that the adults have with one another can’t affect the children negatively. This is not always easy, of course, but the goal should be for parents to do what’s best for their children.
The kids should never be forced to take sides, and they shouldn’t be caught in the middle of the conflict. The saying “love your kids more than you hate your ex” is important to take to heart. Regardless of the situation with the other parent, focusing on doing what’s best for the kids and ensuring that they are away from the conflict as much as possible is essential.