When going through a divorce it is vital to protect children from the long term effects conflict can have on them. Seeing two parents’ emotions toward each other drastically change can be harmful and can mentally affect the livelihood of these children.
Today, Senior Associate, Dannielle Young will be following up on her last podcast (which outlines some devastating effects of conflict on children) and diving into some tips to avoid conflict in front of children, when going through a divorce or separation.
1. Keep Your Children Out Of It
Examine your own role in feeding the conflict. Be conscious that relationships and the behaviours that you are displaying, will essentially display on your children. Your children learn, and absorb all you do, so how would you feel if your child was displaying or receiving your behaviour?
2. Control Your Emotions
Easier said than done? Yes.
However, once you learn to control the outbursts and ensure your conflict isn’t displayed in front of children, you will find it to be more productive when communicating your issues, and your children will be spared the disturbance that these outbursts will cause.
3. Don’t Vent In Front Of Your Children/To Your Children!
You may feel that this isn’t harmful in the moment and as your children grow older they actually try to be more supportive of their parents. However, they are not your friends. Venting to your children will put your children (no matter their age) in an awkward situation, and eventually end up confusing your children as to how they should feel. If you need to vent, pick up the phone and call your friend!
4. Your Children Are Not Your Messengers!
An issue we often see is that parents use their children to get messages across to the other party. This is putting your children at the centre of your conflict when it is vital to do the exact opposite and keep them out of it! This puts pressure on your children and can often lead to conflict with the child if the receiver doesn’t appreciate the message.
Communicate directly with your ex-partner, do not tell your children or allow them to hear your negative opinion. Your children are entitled to have their own relationship with the parent, without your negative influence.
5. Reframe The Language You Are Using
Try reframing “I need you to do ABC.” to “Would you be willing to do ABC?” or “Could we try ABC?” Don’t use language that gets misconstrued as making a demand as this has the unlikelihood that this will be met with satisfaction from the other party. Honey, not vinegar!
6. Pick your “battles” and try to not sweat the small stuff.
If you need to gain advice on your Family Law matter and understand how to manage to protect your children from your divorce conflict, get in touch! Here at Collective Family Law, we offer Free Initial Consultations, where you can meet one of our lawyers in person or via Zoom! Call us on 5574 0971 to arrange a time to suit you.