Divorce can be an ugly, complex and emotional process. For most families, it usually is such a process. Property division, alimony and child custody are only some of the contentious issues that are usually seen during a Virginia divorce. One of the biggest challenges that couples face during a divorce is the effects the separation can have on their children. There are many things that parents can say or do, which could damage their relationship with the children.
Recently divorce expert, Gary Neuman, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss some of the actions that can damage parents’ relationship with their children after a divorce. The most important thing, Neuman says, is to make sure that you do not criticize the other parent in the children’s presence. When you say negative things about the other parent, you are actually criticizing the children as well.
Neuman said that when you do so you are “criticizing the child’s DNA.” This is very true. Instead of dwelling in the past or playing the blame game, it would be in the best interest of the family to focus on the future and maintain a positive atmosphere where the emphasis is on getting along and moving forward. As Newport News child custody attorneys, who have helped numerous clients move forward, we have observed that having a strong relationship with children through the divorce is extremely important for the mother.
Things You Can Do To Help The Situation
Another common mistake parents tend to make is letting their own stress get to their children. Regardless of what parents are going through, the fact remains that children need their parents’ constant attention. When children realize that the divorce is taking too much out of their parents and that they do not have time for them, it builds anger and resentment in their hearts. Most parents, at the end of the divorce process, are left with angry children who are difficult to talk to. This can be avoided if parents take the time to talk to their children during the divorce, explain things better and maintain an overall positive environment. This would go a long way in helping the entire family move on.
There are many ways to foster a positive environment. Try and keep family talks informal. Don’t make it this boring, drawn-out conversation that leaves children with feelings of fear and insecurity. Initiate the conversation and then, allow them to talk and express their feelings. Never judge their feelings or tell them how to feel or emote. Put yourself in their shoes and empathize with them. These steps will go a long way to prevent a rift between you and your children during a tough divorce.
If you are contemplating a divorce, please request a copy of our child custody book, which has comprehensive information about all important issues relating to child custody during divorce. We also offer an informational monthly seminar, which offers additional information about resources and support for women going through a divorce or about to start the process and get the help they need.