I read an interesting article this week about divorce and remembering children’s needs. The article is written about the personal experience of the author during her divorce. In her county anyone with children under 18 that desires to be divorced needs to take a mandatory parenting class. At her first class she realizes that children don’t want to be caught in the midst of an ugly divorce and came to the conclusion that in a “healthy divorce,” one has to love your children more than you don’t love your ex. She adds that she doesn’t regret the marriage because it produced two beautiful children. When asking her close friend who is also counselor for more advice for parents to help their children through a divorce she was told, “Parents can do a great deal to help their children transform divorce into a positive experience. Kids have to learn how to cope throughout the divorce journey.”
To help kids survive and thrive from the experience of divorce, parents must respect their children’s feelings. Parents need to accept they can’t make the discomfort of divorce disappear, but they can give their kids a safe space in which to freely express their emotions. Parents need to remember that their children love both of them and no matter how angry the parents are with each other, they must take into consideration that their anger towards each other affects their children. No child wants to take sides, and asking a child to do so is extremely painful and detrimental to the child’s emotional well being.
It may seem like a nuisance, but the idea of a mandatory parenting class for those who want a divorce is a good idea. Many parents are so caught up in their dislike for the other that they forget their children’s needs. You may not like your soon to be ex, but the children are innocent to the situation. It’s very hard for them to have to choose between parents and if resources such as parenting classes are available it may help the family itself to cope with the pending divorce.