The effects of a divorce aren’t always apparent the day the papers are signed. There can be lingering issues for children (and parents) that arise later and can have drastic consequences if they aren’t addressed.
Unfortunately, not all of these issues will be immediately apparent. Many of the problems will be more subtle, lacking the “here I am” quality of your daughter cutting off 87 percent of her hair and dying the remainder teal.
You will have to pay attention and look for the small changes in behavior that signal a problem. And then you’ll need to act accordingly in a timely manner.
Kids have a tendency to identify with the parent of the same gender, according to PsychCentral. This happens whether the family stays together or not. However, when the parents are at odds—generally as the result of a divorce—mixed messages can start to fly during the child’s development.
The most common examples cited are when a dad tells his daughter to stop acting like her mother, or a mom tells her son to avoid replicating his father’s behavior. This can confuse a child’s natural tendency to emulate their parent and cause even greater confusion.
A better path would be to point out the child’s behavior and show them why they need to correct it. However, this must be done without linking it to the other parent. That will instill the proper value in the child in a positive manner.
Fighting the Other Parent’s Battles
This can be as noticeable as a drastic haircut, but it could be something as small as a headshake. Perhaps the child starts sticking up for the other parent subtly, whether provoked or not. This is likely an extension of the identification issues discussed above.
Your best remedy to is to watch what you’re saying. It’s possible that you’re making comments about your ex-spouse—whether you notice or not—and putting your child into the marital conflicts.
Lastly, don’t rebuke your child in this situation. You would want them to stick up for you, but you also don’t want them fighting your battles. Just be sympathetic to the child and be more careful moving forward.
Divorces bring a host of issues for you personally and your family. The attorneys at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm understand and can help guide you through the legal quagmire to move on with your life. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and be sure to follow our Facebook page for more helpful tips.