Although it may seem like common sense, there are a number of things parent shouldn’t tell their kids during and after their divorce. A common them among some of these things is the assignment of blame for the divorce (be it blaming the other parent or the child). Another common theme involves the delivery of the message. Communication experts have routinely pointed out that approximately 80% of communication is in the delivery. Also, these communication tips not only apply to divorce cases in Dallas but across the country too.
Examples of things not to say that fall in the "not my fault" category are:
- I don’t want a divorce, but your [mom/dad] does;
- You can thank your [mom/dad] for us splitting up; and
- Because of what you did, we’re getting a divorce.
Examples relating to the delivery of the message include:
- Yelling at the other parent in front of the children; and
- Expressing apathy/frustration about the other parent’s rules.
Sometimes parents "sugar coat" the issues which results in their children having unrealistic expectations. Although the level of explanation to provide a child varies by age, intellect and maturity, parents do themselves a disservice by trying to shield their children from truths surrounding their divorce.
Bottom line: Parents should remember to avoid blame assignment and pay attention to how they communicate with their children when discussing their divorce. Hat tips to Dick Price’s blog and Wolfgang at Singleparentgossip.com for the motivation behind this post.