Divorce is not easy on anyone, but when there are children involved, a different approach is often needed. In some cases, the spouses involved in the divorce will have an amicable split without much tension or any issues. However, those scenarios tend to be rare. More often than not, there is some level of contention between the parties in the divorce. This can turn nasty quickly. If there are children in the picture, this can put an undue amount of stress and worry on them.
Parents have to understand that it’s not just them going through the divorce. Their children are right there with them, and the kids often have far less of an understanding of what’s happening and why. They are going through a major change in their lives. Depending on their age, they do not have an understanding of everything that’s happening. Even teens are not privy to everything happening with their parents. It’s a scary time for the kids, and the adults need to do their best to make things somewhat easier.
Life During the Divorce
Making divorce easier on the children isn’t a simple matter. One of the questions that often comes up is whether the parents should stay in the same house while they are going through the divorce. Will this be easier or more difficult for the children? The answer is complex and varied because all couples are different. In some cases, the parents have a high level of emotional intelligence, so they aren’t escalating every small conflict into a big argument. They can keep level heads and they don’t fight and snipe at one another in front of the children.
In these cases, they might be able to stay in the same house during the divorce. This could make things easier on the children, as long as the kids understand the divorce is still happening. Parents don’t want to keep them in the dark and give them false hope that everything is okay.
Often, people who are going through a divorce will not have the capability to keep arguments from occurring and spiraling out of control. The longer they are together in the same house the worse things can become for them and especially for their children. They might say things under their breath that the child or the spouse hears, or they might start to say negative things to their children to pit them against the other parent. This is unhealthy and dangerous.
Those who can’t control themselves when they are in the same house should not remain in the same house during the divorce process. It will create a place filled with tension and conflict that will wear down everyone in the home, including the kids. In these cases, the best course of action is for one of the parents to move out. They might get a house or apartment of their own, or they might need to find somewhere they can stay, such as with family and friends.
Having the parents separate during this time is better than having them in the same home where conflict continues to brew. All it will do is cause more sadness, worry, and anxiety.
Life After the Divorce
It’s also important to remember that even after the divorce has been finalized, parents are still connected through the children. Divorce without children tends to be easier. Once the ties are cut, the parties never have to see one another or think about one another again. That’s not the case when there are children. The adults will always be reminded of their ex. How that is approached can make all the difference in the world.
Consider some of the types of conflict that could arise. Sometimes, a parent might not be able to take the children, even though they have joint custody and it’s their weekend. This can be frustrating for the kids and the parents alike. Rather than letting it become a larger problem, find ways to talk it out and figure out how to remedy it. Other times, a spouse might owe child support and not be willing to pay it. In these cases, it doesn’t generally do much good to yell at them in front of the children. Instead, it’s a matter for the family court if it can’t be resolved otherwise.
It’s important that no matter how frustrated the parents are that they don’t talk bad about the other parent in front of the children. This will only cause the children to worry, take sides, and feel like they are caught in the middle of the situation. Parents should strive to keep their kids out of the middle of the conflict as much as possible.
Of course, this is often easier said than done. Frustration builds, and it can be difficult to keep it under wraps. Often, it’s best to figure out healthy ways to deal with the frustration. Otherwise, it will control you and it could expose the children to a lot of negativity and worry. Parents should try to become as independent as possible from their spouse, particularly on an emotional level.
Parents will still have to deal with one another at conferences, holidays, school events, etc. It’s important to find ways to stay calm and positive during these interactions regardless of how the exes feel about one another. Otherwise, it will cause damage to the children that can carry over to their adult years.
Kids Should Always Remain the Priority
The goal should always be for the kids to come first. The anger, frustration, and hurt that may have happened during the marriage is real and it will affect the parents. However, they need to try to put their best side forward for the kids. The kids are more important than the ex. Keeping this firmly in mind will help many parents to reduce the amount of conflict that occurs during and after the divorce. It is not easy, but it is something that parents will want to work on until it becomes their reality.