Communicating, keeping the peace, and keeping children out of the middle is easier said than done for many coParents. There are two things that have remained important components of our family’s philosophy regarding peaceful coParent communication, and I’d like to share them with you:
• When an argument or disagreement arises, let your child know that it has nothing to do with them and that it is just between mom and dad.
• When you compromise and come to an agreement, make sure that if your children witness the argument that they see your resolution and compromise as well.
It is crucial for children to know that they are not to blame for adult disagreements. Putting children in the middle of arguments can make them feel guilty and can trigger the development of low self-esteem. It is just as important for them to experience seeing their parents make up after an argument in order to set a good example and show them a healthy way to resolve conflict. After all, kids may not always do what you say but they will imitate what they see, you are their role model.
Not to worry, even if your child had a difficult time with the divorce or experienced a bad argument, the trauma is not permanent. When a child is given a safe and supportive environment in which their needs are physically and emotionally met, trauma can be healed over time. As long as there is a strong sense of connection established between the child and adult, there is light at the end of the tunnel.