What are some of the worst mistakes divorcing and divorced parents make that negatively affect their children?
— Rosalind Sedacca, “The Voice of Child-centered Divorce.”
Thank you for sending in this excellent question in honor of International Child-Centered Divorce Month. I am going to start with three mistakes that I know right off the bat. However, please feel free to chime in and fill out the picture in any way that you want.
1. Talking negatively to your child about the other parent. It is very important for children to continue to have respectful relationships with each of their parents, and such talk will make this almost impossible.
2. Forgetting to make time daily to talk to your child about his or her feelings. Sometimes children think they have caused the divorce. Often they experience a lot of guilt. However, no matter what the situation, it is important to be available as much as possible to lend a sympathetic ear, listen carefully, and then give sound advice. No need to pry or put words in your child’s mouth. However, you can explore what he or she does feel and build your support around that.
3. Not considering your child’s preferences when carving out your plans to change the current living arrangement.
January! The Month of the New Beginning
If you are part of a family in transition now, take advantage of this new month and year to give a positive spin to your “new” situation.