Barbara Rothberg, DSW, LCSW

Therapy, Coaching, Mediation and Parent Coordination

 
 
 
       

Rules to Keep Kids out of the Middle

30 April, 2018 Barbara Rothberg DIVORCE

I t is well known that kids must be kept out of the middle of divorced parents for them to grow up happy and healthy. Here are 4 Rules to follow which can be very helpful.

I have found that sometimes it is easier if parents are given a "set of rules" to keep kids out of the middle. These rules can be a reminder and keep parents on track even when they feel angry and upset. I suggest they be kept in a place where they can be looked at frequently.

Sometimes, it takes self control not to express angry feelings toward the ex in front of the kids. The kids do not want to hear negative things about their parents. Children love both of their parents and do not want to be in the position of defending one of them. Children should not be put in a position where they have a loyalty conflict between their parents. They should be free to have their own feelings about each of their parents, not colored by their parents' issues. It is not always easy to refrain from negative comments, but if parents can remember that they are doing the right thing for their chldren, it helps.

 

                                              RULES TO KEEP THE KIDS OUT OF THE MIDDLE                                               

    1. Never badmouth the other parent.....avoid name calling and negative judgements.  Even if you are really angry, hold your tongue! Saying nothing is better than saying something negative.                                               

    2. Be nice to one another in front of the kids (even if you don't feel like it).  Your children will relax in front of you both and it will make transitions much easier.                                               

    3. Never use your children as a messenger for meetings, notes, and definitely not checks! If your child forgets to give a message s/he will feel blamed and you become angry. It is not a child's responsibiity.                                                   

    4. Never involve the kids in grown-up issues and probelms, it's your responsibility.  If you tell kids that they can't get new sneakers because dad doesn't give you enough money, the kids are conflicted.

 

If parents can follow these four rules, they can raise happier and healthier kids. That's a fact!

 

                                                       

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