When it comes to high conflict divorce, the term “In The Middle,” tends to refer to a feeling of being trapped. Kids of divorce are often trapped between their two parent’s craziness! I can assure you, that this is not a place where they want to be.
Your kids want to love both parents. They deserve to love both parents. Let your children love both parents. Your children know that they are a part of both of you. When they are told one of those parts is not “good” they internalize that as they are not “good.”
When kids are placed in the middle of their parent’s divorce, they feel as though they are being pulled apart. Their loyalty is being tested and they are being asked to choose who is the better parent. Does this seem appropriate or healthy to you? It certainly does not to me. As you will see, the kids that are involved in their parent’s divorce tend to shut-down, act out and rebel. They have no idea what to do with their emotions.
Help your children stay out of you divorce by doing the following:
- Don’t speak badly of the other parent. Don’t blame them, criticize or complain about them. This hurts your child deeply.
- Don’t ask your children to ever take sides. This is NOT their battle to fight.
- Don’t use your kids as your therapist or confidant.
- Don’t limit your kids time with their other parent simply because you are mad at your ex-spouse.
- Try to make an effort to become civil with the other parent.
- Remind your child at every turn that the divorce is not their fault.
- Seek out your own professional help to cope with your own feelings about the divorce and co-parenting issues.
- Take the high road when your ex-takes the low road. Your kids are always watching your actions and judging you.
Remember, your divorce is your issue, not your child’s. Repeat this to yourself if you have to because it is easy to forget when you want to strangle your ex!