In previous posts we’ve looked at how parents can more effectively work with one another after a divorce. Child custody agreements help the transition go smoothly, but things always come up and disagreements may happen.
While much of the advice has focused on the parents’ relationships with one another, it’s also important to better understand how the children are affected. What are they thinking when the divorce proceedings have ended and their parents share custody?
It might not be possible to understand exactly what is going through a child’s head after a divorce. One author, after working with hundreds of families, has been able to gather some of the most common thoughts that children have during a divorce.
Many children believe that their parents are more focused on the material things than the relationships that are changing. This can be the case if the parents spend hours arguing about who gets the vintage clock collection or who gets the family boat.
Another concern kids have revolves around when a new significant other is introduced into the family. Some are afraid that they could get hurt, especially if the new boyfriend or girlfriend is allowed to discipline. With that, parents should also know that it may take a while for their children to get used to a new partner.
Ultimately, it seems like children just want their parents to continue being their parents. This often means putting aside differences to do what’s best for them. A divorce is emotionally draining for the two parents, but it can be even more so for the children who are caught in the middle.
For parents, trying to navigate parenting after a divorce is tricky. Routines change and schedules may get shifted; having a solid custody agreement can help minimize some of the confusion and frustration, allowing parents more time to spend with their kids.
Source: Huffington Post, “12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say,” Tara Kennedy-Kline, April 20, 2014.