Divorce is difficult enough, so there’s no point in making it any harder than it has to be. No one actually thinks divorce is in their future, which is why most aren’t well prepared for the life-changing event. Even if you’ve signed a prenup, having a contingency plan isn’t a reality for most couples destined for the big D. But have no fear, we’re here to help you sift through the do’s and don’ts of proper breakup etiquette.
Although we can’t guarantee smooth sailing, the least we can do is provide a life jacket. The process of divorce is often filled with mediation, claiming assets, and divvying up kid time, so there’s no room for error. Whether you’re experiencing an amicable split or a rocky road, here are five mistakes to avoid when going through a divorce.
1. Looking to your child to fulfill your ex’s role
Besides being just plain creepy, it’s not uncommon for a parent to turn to their child during the divorce process. After their parent’s have separated, children may feel pressured to step into an adult role. In an effort to fill a new parental void in the household, a child’s intentions are probably good, but don’t let that sway your reactions to them. While it’s sweet your child is concerned about you, it’s important you acknowledge their needs before your own.
A child of divorce needs lots of love, care, and attention, so it’s imperative you set aside your own angst in their presence. In an article published on Your Tango, Vicki Lansky, parenting expert and author of It’s Not Your Fault KoKo Bear, discusses the dangers of putting children in an adult role, mentioning that although they may revel in this extra attention, they’ll be in for unfair pressures in the long run. For instance, if your soon-to-be ex-husband was always a shoulder for you to cry on, don’t make the mistake of transferring that responsibility to your son.