We'll let you in on a little secret: If you assess the people that you know, we doubt that you'll notice a higher rate of unhappiness or neurosis in children of divorce than children from intact marriages. Every family has its issues, and just because a couple stays married, it doesn't mean that their family isn't wildly dysfunctional.
As a parent of divorce, don't worry about how the "divorce" will affect your children, instead, pour your energy into self-control and raising them the best that you can.
Here's what we can learn from the children of divorce:
- We don't need to know every detail of your argument.
- We're protective of you with new partners.
- Don't try to one-up the other parent, it makes us uncomfortable.
- We miss the other parent when we're at your house. It's because we love you both.
- Don't try to get information about the other parent. We're not a spy, we're not the middleman, and we're not the enemy.
- Please take our calls when we're not at your house.
- We are not a therapist, please rely on close friends or a professional for comfort.
- We want you both at our school events and sports games.
- Please don't fight in front of us.
- We can tell when a "friend" is more than a friend.
- Please don't make us choose sides.
- Don't make me feel guilty about having fun with the other parent.
- We don't want to hear you badmouth our other parent.
- Don't introduce us to someone new until it's serious.
Getting a divorce does not mean that you've failed as a parent. If anything, your ability to remain a good parent throughout the trials of divorce gives you more credibility.
If you're a devoted parent that is committed to creating a stable environment for your children, your kids will be just as fine as everyone else's, if not better.