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Unhealthy Habits of Divorce

Divorce can be frightening and chaotic for children. Many well-intentioned parents make divorce harder than it needs to be for their children by practicing these five hazardous habits.

Sharing Too Much
Some conversations in a marriage relationship are best kept between Mom and Dad. Parents burden their children by sharing delicate details about topics like:  

  • Finances
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • Complaints about the other parent

If you didn't talk about these things with your children before your divorce, you shouldn't start sharing them with your children now.

Putting Kids in the Middle
Divorce raises many issues that partners must work through. While some concern children, most do not. When parents complain about each other to their children, they make it more difficult for children to maintain healthy relationships with each parent. Learn to see complaints about your partner as criticisms of your child's parent and keep them to yourself.

Restricting Access to the Other Parent
Allow your children to develop healthy relationships with your partner by defining boundaries for them to follow during your time together. Children often lose the ability to see both parents daily after a divorce and are further hurt when one parent refuses to allow them to contact the other parent when they are apart. Guard your time with your children, but realize that your partner deserves to have his or her time with them as well. 

Fighting in Front of Children
Arguments are almost unavoidable during divorce. However, conflicts should be kept private. Seeing parents fight is frightening and confusing for children. Help your children by refusing to fight in front of them.

Making Life Inconsistent
Inconsistencies in daily routines make divorce harder for children, especially elementary school-aged ones. Consistent bedtimes, homework expectations and social rules reduce the stress children experience during divorce.

Avoiding any one of these five habits can make divorce less burdensome for children. To learn more about making divorce less difficult for your child, contact the Boys Town National HotlineĀ® at 1-800-448-3000 or email us. Trained counselors will listen to your situation, answer your questions and offer helpful advice.