If you think you can use your children to get your own way in your divorce, think again. Children hate to be put in the middle of things. This is already a difficult time for them, especially if they love both parents equally. They have to choose who to live with and work out what to do during holidays. There are just a few things that they ask you not to do.
They don’t need to hear how their father is always late or how useless he is at something. They already have their own opinions of him.
By speaking badly about him or even a new girlfriend, they will get a bad opinion of you. It soon turns them to their father as they realise that type of person you are.
The details about their father’s affair may be juice for you and your mother but they’re not juicy for the children. They don’t want to know the details of the divorce.
All they want to know is where they will stay and what it means for them. Even if you don’t get on, make an effort in front of the children and don’t say something to make them side against their dad.
At the same time, they want to know about some of the details. They need to know that their parents are getting divorced and why that is happening. If you cheated on their father, be upfront and honest about them.
If it was a mutual decision due to irreconcilable differences, talk to them about that and explain the situation.
Let them spend as much time as they want with their dad. This is going to be difficult for children and they don’t want to feel guilty for choosing one parent over another to spend time with. The same applies if they want to live with their dad and see you on weekends.
There may be a good reason for this. Some children may choose to split up so both parents get one of them for the full time. They already feel guilty enough for their decisions without you adding to it.
Children are not your little spies. They’re not there to find out what their dad is doing and who he is seeing to then report back to you. If you want to know something, be open about it.
If they want to know something, encourage them to be open about that by all means but don’t send them with your own agenda.
Your ex-husband is going to be at a family event, which means you don’t want to go. However, the children will want to. They don’t want to miss out on something because of your argument.
Agree to be civil and drop the children off. You don’t have to stay. You could even tie it in with when your ex gets the kids.