What Are The 7 Mistakes That Divorced or Separating Parents Make?

Discover what you can do to make separating and divorce easier on your children during those tough days.


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What are the 7 biggest mistakes that separated or divorcing parents make?

Parenting after a divorce is challenging. Both parents are dealing with their own issues and emotions while trying to move forward in their new lives.  One of the most challenging aspects of separation when children are involved, is having to maintain roles as parents and to keep stability and continuity while learning to interact in new ways with their former spouse.

Divorced parents make mistakes with their children along the way, which can end up causing their children significant distress. With the help of Relationships Australia resource guide, here are some of the most common issue divorced parents face and some helpful tips for avoiding them.

1/  Fighting and arguing with the other parent in-front of your child.

Parents should make every effort to put their differences aside and agree not to fight or argue in the presence of their children. Children become stressed when they see or hear their parents engaged in conflict. Your child may consider himself to blame if you fight when they are around. They should not have to feel like the relationship breakdown is in any way their fault.

2/  Cutting off communication or preventing your child from seeing the other parent regularly.

Your child up until the time of your separation / divorce has seen or spoken to the other parent every day, whenever they need them. Cutting them off creates grieving and loss similar to a death in the family.


3/   Remove the stability of your childs daily routine.


Keep them where possible at the same school and with the same friend network. Keep the activities as much the same as possible – swimming lessons, sport and any other activities. This may mean seeing the other parent. It is important not to cancel these activities simply because you will have to face the other parent. Stability will help your child transition through this time.

4/  Avoid making your child the messenger taking communications between both parents.

Parents who don’t feel they can communicate verbally themselves often use email or texting as a way of communicating while still being able to separate themselves.

5/  Avoid confiding in your child.

Keep your child a child in this process. Making them carry any burdon with things you have told them or to keep secrets from the other parent puts them in the middle of your conflict.Choose a friend to confide in instead.

6/ Avoid questioning your child about the life of the other parent.

Don’t ask them about who they might be seeing, what they have said about you or what purchases they may have made. If its important to you, ask your ex partner yourself.


7/ Dont tell  them all the bad things the other parent has done or critisise them infront of your child.

Be as impartial as you can when explaining your separation. Putting your child in the middle of the conflict will make them feel as though they have to take sides. If you need to talk or express your feeling, speak with a friend or a counsellor.


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