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Can I protect my children from the conflict of my divorce?

Getting a divorce is a difficult emotional process. You may be experiencing feelings of heartache, anger and betrayal. While this is a normal part of divorce, it does not make it any easier. Unfortunately, your children are also likely to feel a range of unpleasant and heartbreaking emotions while you go through a divorce. You and other Texas residents who are divorcing may want to know the best ways to shield children from these very grown-up emotions.

You and your soon-to-be-ex may not be able to avoid all conflict during your divorce. After all, years of conflict and resentment likely led to your decision to divorce in the first place. Your children may not have been spared from much of this conflict during your marriage, but splitting up usually does not make it easier on them. Seeing their parents move on to live separate lives instead of working things out can be upsetting and even frightening. You might consider the following tips during and after your divorce to make things easier on your children:

  • Avoid the temptation to vent to your kids about your frustration with the other parent. Try to speak positively about your ex, or be neutral at the very least. Understand that your children should not feel like they must take sides.
  • Do not send messages to the other parent through your children or try to find out what your ex is up to on his or her own time.
  • When your children are at your home, stick to consistent rules and routines. They may have a different set of rules at the other parent's house, but they need consistency from at least one parent to feel secure.
  • Create good memories with your children, but avoid showering them with gifts and being lax on the rules to make the other parent look bad. Remember that your most important job is to be a parent and keep your children's best interests in mind.

Children look to their parents' example when they are dealing with their own feelings about the divorce. If you can treat your ex with courtesy, stick to a routine and remain rational and understanding, it can help your kids accept the divorce more easily.

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