Hold your Tongue.
Do not argue in front of your children…period. Heated conversations regarding schedules, finances or personal issues should take place on the phone when your children are not around. Research has found that the most poorly adjusted children of divorce are those exposed to ongoing parental battles. You must find ways to communicate without attacking and being critical of your former spouse. Take the high road and don’t resort to blaming or name-calling when your children can hear. How can this be done?
- Plan your conversations – take time to think through your topics prior to bringing them up.
- Show restraint – hold your tongue. If the conversation is getting heated, suggest rescheduling it to a different time.
- Listen – don’t interrupt, allow them to speak and finish their sentences before you form any opinions.
- Keep your emotions in check – it is common to say things we don’t mean when our emotions take over. When you feel this happening, stop and take a big breath. If that is not enough, suggest continuing the conversation at a different time.
- Look at situations through their eyes as well – there is always two ways to see a situation. Be open to hear their side and try to be as objective as possible when trying to find solutions.
- Don’t be too stubborn not to apologize – a simple apology goes a long way. We all make mistakes, apologize for yours and watch the tension die down.
- Be sure to ensure privacy and respect when discussing the details of the divorce with your friends and family. Don’t open the door for difficult conversations.