One of the biggest tragedies of divorce can happen when parents enlist their children into the divorce process in an unhealthy way. For example, parents might use their children as sympathetic ears to whom they voice their worries and concerns. They might try to pit their children against the other parent. They might also just forget to consider the feelings and best interests of their children due to the difficult nature of the divorce process.
According to a former U.S Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, we should not make children the victims of their parents’ choices. Parents need to remember how much children are often worried during a divorce process. Sometimes children feel that if their parents stop loving each other that they will stop loving them. Sharing too much information with children could result in those kinds of fears.
What happens when we share too much about our pain with our children? Sometimes, there is a role-reversal that takes place. Children become the parents, the counselors, and the wisdom-keepers of the family. This is a tremendous burden for a young children who does not yet have the emotional knowledge and stability to handle such a role. A certified divorce coach in West Palm Beach, Florida, said that parents using their children for emotional support is potentially one of worst consequences of the divorce process gone wrong.
Parents should remember that divorce is quite common, and the risk is 42 to 45 percent that every married person will experience at least one divorce in their lifetime. This figure goes up to 50 percent if permanent separations are included. There is nothing wrong with getting a divorce, and it can even benefit the children in the long run by providing them with two happy but separate and well-balanced parents. All that said, divorce and child custody arrangements must be done the right way, and for this reason, parents may want to enlist the assistance of an experienced child custody and visitation attorney for help.
Source: Lifezette, “When Kids Parent Their Parents,” Deirdre Reilly, July 18, 2016