Divorced parents, please stop pointing fingers at one another and start co-parenting. In a perfect divorce scenario, both parties separate amicably putting their children’s needs above their own misery. These parents recognize that their existing issues need to be resolved without involving the children. They do their best to compromise although at times they feel like pulling their hair out. They take responsibility for their mistakes and do everything in their power to correct it. In these cases we tend to see a well-adjusted child.
In another divorce scenario, parents part bitterly. This couple has a nasty split where their own anger towards one another prevents them from putting their children first. There is no sign of cooperating, compromising or working together to shield children from the animosity both ex-spouses display towards one another. In this scenario, children are placed in the middle of their parents unresolved anger. Sometimes, they are used as weapons by one angry parent to torture the other “healthy parent.”
Guess what usually happens to the child in the above divorce situation? Nothing very good! This child becomes confused and is asked to chose between their parents; a choice no child should ever have to make. Overall these children are not well-adjusted In most cases, the child ends up turning on the parent they once had a close relationship with because they are afraid of hurting the inappropriate parent. Nothing good comes of this situation. In the end, you have a traumatized child with a lot of mess to untangle.
Parenting after divorce takes some personal restraint, especially when you are trying to co-parent with an impulsive ex. The minute you lose personal control, you have decided to enter into a chaotic world of never-ending drama. Make the choice to put your children’s needs first. No child wants to be in the middle of their parents divorce.
Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. She is a regular mental health contributor for an array of networks and television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. Dr. Sue has also contributed to several national publications. Her new best-selling book,Building Self Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered is available now. To find out more about her work, please visit Dr. Sue’s website.