Parents in Tennessee who are getting a divorce can help ease their children’s transition by talking to them about the divorce and ensuring that they do not believe they are at fault. They can also watch their children for signs of depression and anxiety. They might want to ask their children’s friends and teachers about their adjustment. Parents should also keep in mind that these emotions may manifest as acting out in some children who do not express them verbally.
Parents should encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent. This includes letting the child know it is okay to love the other parent and avoiding making the child feel it is necessary to choose between parents. Parents should not share conflicts with the other parent with the child or put the child in the middle as a messenger. Furthermore, if parents do not present a united front, children may use the knowledge of disputes about parenting styles as a way to manipulate their parents. Parents should not feel they have to relax their discipline or buy the child gifts from a sense of guilt.
Parents should make an effort to remain civil with one another in front of the children during dropoffs and pickups. They should also try to keep parenting rules consistent between households as much as possible.
During child custody negotiations, it can be important for parents to remember that someone who was not a good spouse might still be a good parent. Even if parents strongly disagree on how children should be parented, if neither parent is endangering the child, most experts agree it is probably best for the child to spend time with both of them. Parents might be able to negotiate a schedule for custody and visitation or for shared custody that best suits their child’s needs and situation.