Your Newmarket divorce lawyer has probably already advised you to avoid fighting in front of your children; it’s not good for kids to be part of constant conflict. Sure, children are fine seeing normal parental disagreements – some psychologists even suggest that it can help teach them how to deal with conflict on their own. However, fighting is different from disagreeing, and there are specific ground rules you and your ex need to set to ensure that your kids aren’t negatively affected.
Ground Rules with Your Ex
Because divorce brings out raw emotions in everyone involved, it’s best to shield your children as much as you can. Seeing your ex is inevitable, especially during pick-ups and drop-offs, so make sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to disagreements. Many people find that it’s a good idea to agree to discuss differences over the phone or through email; that might be a good idea in your case, too.
You don’t have to like your ex, but you do have to make an effort to remain peaceful with him or her.
Why Keeping the Peace with Your Ex is Essential
How many times have you heard your kids parrot something an adult would say? Most of us have had jaw-dropping parenting moments – especially when a little one repeats something that isn’t meant for polite company. While something like that can turn into a funny memory, remember that your kids’ ears are always open, and they’re like little sponges. They learn their behaviours from you, including the way you respond to certain situations. That’s why it’s so important to be careful about how you handle yourself when your ex is around.
Your children aren’t just learning their future behaviours, though; they’re thinking about the here-and-now. Your kids know that you and your ex aren’t together, but they don’t want to see that you dislike each other (or worse). Children can interpret the fact that your feelings for each other have changed as a precursor to your feelings for them changing, and that’s scary at any age.
If you simply can’t get along with your ex, it might be best to avoid each other entirely. Talk to your Newmarket divorce lawyer to find out if there are some creative solutions you can employ to help shield your kids from potentially traumatizing situations during and after your divorce.