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Fostering Healthy Parent-child Relationships During and After Divorce

Divorce can be confusing for children, and it’s natural for them to gravitate toward one parent throughout the process. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some cases in our San Bernardino family law offices in which children take sides; that’s not pleasant for anyone.

Your attorney will help you create a child custody agreement that works for your whole family, but making sure that your kids have a healthy relationship with you and your ex falls on your shoulders.

Fostering Healthy Relationships with Both Parents

While you have your children, it’s your job to help foster a healthy relationship between them and the other parent. That means that you can’t do anything that could put that relationship in jeopardy or damage that bond – but many parents cause damage without even knowing that they’re doing it.

Where Parents Go Wrong

Psychologists suggest that there are several ways parents go wrong in fostering healthy relationships between their exes and their kids, including:

  • Giving kids too much adult information. Confiding in your children about your divorce, no matter how old they are, isn’t the right thing to do. Because your kids want to feel loyal to both of you, hearing the sordid details of one parent’s actions can cause a rift between the child and that parent.
  • Bad-mouthing the other parent within kids’ earshot. Saying negative things about your kids’ other parent where they can hear you is never okay. The same goes for making posts on social media that your children can see.

It’s not emotionally healthy for children to take sides during divorce; they’re unable to have a healthy relationship with both parents, which can cause a variety of problems.

What to Do if Your Kids Take Sides

If you find out that your ex is confiding in your children about your divorce, or if he or she is intentionally disrupting your relationship with your kids, talk to your San Bernardino divorce attorney right away. There may be legal action you can take to help salvage your relationships. Your lawyer may also recommend visiting a family counselor or therapist who can encourage the children to talk about their feelings and help you reconnect.