Can you remember being a child? The world around you was bigger, yet your personal world was smaller. The kitchen counters were higher, the people were taller and it is likely your family was the center of your universe. No matter how Mom and Dad felt about each other, Mom was still Mom, and Dad was still Dad. Unfortunately, this can be hard to remember sometimes.
Ending your marriage is difficult. It is also very personal. When divorce uproots one of the most foundational relationships in your life, tunnel vision can easily happen, and many parents lose sight of their children’s needs. Here are some points to help consider things from your son or daughter’s point of view.
Joint physical custody can be the best or worst scenario
In a perfect world, joint physical custody seems like the best solution for everyone. Family courts tend to lean this way as well, but it comes down to reality. Are family holidays chaos? Are both parents truly involved, or does one parent simply want more time to lower child support? In California, the time you spend with your child is one of several factors that can impact child support payments. Sometimes, parents seek joint custody for the wrong reasons.
Inconsistent discipline can be confusing
It might be tempting to play the good cop when your ex takes away your child’s computer, but it is important for parents to be on the same page. When discipline is inconsistent, it can create an unstable learning environment with unclear expectations.
Too little or too much information can be frustrating
Children are smart. Trying to keep your divorce from your child is futile. At the same time, both parents are part of him or her. If you badmouth your ex, your child could see it as a personal attack.
It is good to be open about your divorce, but do it in a way that is mutually respectful. It can help to share the responsibility of explaining. Open the communication line, but filter your emotions. Children do not need to know unsavory details.