Children often don’t have a good grasp on why adults do some of the things they do. When parents get divorced, there are many thoughts that can creep up in a child’s mind. It is imperative that parents don’t let their children fall for common divorce myths.
There are three big myths that almost all children will believe at one point or another about their parents’ divorce.
Myth #1: A favorite parent must be chosen
Children will sometimes think that they need to choose a favorite parent. You should let your children know that you and your ex both love them and that both adults will remain their parents. There might be times, especially when you put your foot down about something, when the children say they like the other parent more. There might also be times when children who are with you express feelings about missing the other parent. Try to respond to these in a positive way so that your children know that they don’t have to choose you or your ex over the other.
Myth #2: The child is the cause of the divorce
Children sometimes think that they are the reason for the divorce. You have to let your children know that the decision to divorce wasn’t caused by anything that they did. Instead, you might have to explain that relationships don’t always last forever. Your children might find books or even movies about the situation helpful to understand why things happen like they do. If you do utilize media options, make sure they are age appropriate for your children.
Myth #3: My parents can’t stand each other
No matter what your marriage was like, there is a good chance that you and your ex will need to work together to raise the children. Even if you hate your ex, you can’t let that show when you are around your children. No child should have to live knowing the dirty details of their parents’ divorce so try to keep explanations about the matters as simple as possible.
One way that you can make life a little less stressful for you and your children is to make sure that you have a solid parenting plan in place. This takes the worry out of questions of who will have the children when. It also sets standards for things like communication and decision making. Following the plan can give your child stability and a sense of security.