When you go through a divorce, one of the things you may worry about is how your children will respond. You don’t want your relationship with them to get hurt, even though you know it’s possible.
As a father, there are several tips you can follow to build up those relationships and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown in communication between yourself and your kids. Here are a few ideas to help you as you go through this process together.
- Be an excellent co-parent
The first tip to remember is that you can be an excellent co-parent and reduce stress in your relationships. If you and the other parent speak kindly to each other and do your best to minimize conflict, your children will see this maturity and be less likely to lash out or struggle in their relationships with either parent.
- Never speak negatively about the other parent
It is essential not to speak negatively about the other parent, even if you have something that you want to get off your chest. Instead, wait to discuss those issues with the other parent when your children aren’t around or go see a therapist, friend or family member to talk. When you disparage the other parent, it can make a child feel like you don’t like them or their opinions, which is the last thing you want to do.
- Listen, listen, listen
Finally, listen to your child. When they say they’re uncomfortable or unhappy, hear them out. Children don’t have the same ability to process feelings of grief or loss, anger or frustration as adults. Be patient with your children and make sure that they know you’re there to listen with an open mind.
If you need to correct them, be gentle and honest. Being understanding, particularly during the divorce itself, is essential to helping them cope and adjust to these new circumstances.
These are just a few tips to help you build better relationships with your children during your divorce. Be there for them, listen and do your best to be kind and respectful.