Be your other parent’s biggest cheerleader – even when things are tough between you.
Divorce for children is one of the hardest things a person can go through. Whether you want the divorce or not, disentangling yourself from the other party will never fully happen while you have children together. Accept and embrace this because it is a truth for most people, absent extreme circumstances. If you are the party that does not want the divorce, there is often pain associated with the end of a marriage and having to coparent across two homes rather than everyone under one roof. You may be hurting and want to lash out. That is normal but do it 8in private and not with your kids nearby.
If you are someone who wants to divorce or just knows it is the best thing for your family, there is also pain associated with change, a new status quo for your children, and everyone has to adjust. You may also be angry and wanting to make sure everyone knows it. Make sure your children do not know. They did not choose either of you as parents and did not choose your marriage or divorce.
As much as you and your spouse might have disagreements over personal matters, whether someone cheated in the marriage, someone was abusive, or both parties just decided they grew apart and this caused conflict, none of those things should bleed into your coparenting. This is often easier said than done, but it’s fundamental in maintaining a healthy relationship with your children and making them feel safe and secure during the divorce. If you tell your child the other parent is a “idiot,“ or is somehow bad, it is confusing for them because it is like you were saying part of them is bad.
If you have been following along any of the celebrity drama as it pertains to divorce, you might have heard about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West airing their grievances in public while they work their way through a very high conflict situation. Publicly sharing grievances about your coparent is never a good idea. Talking about the other parent in your home behind closed doors is never a good idea, either. Kids are listening even when you think they are not.
The Kim and Kanye saga is important to pay attention to for this very reason. You can be angry or hurt at your ex, but in front of the kids you need to put the other parent in a position of respect. Kim Kardashian talked about this recently saying that she is Kanye’s “biggest cheerleader“ in front of their kids. And no matter how angry or hurt you might be, letting the kids know that they should have respect for the other parent and that you do as well is going to make your coparenting easier, help you present a united front moving forward when things get tough with your children, and make your children feel secure. Putting your children in the middle not only damages relationships, but it also looks terrible in court and can have serious long-term impact on your children.
Kanye West decided to very publicly criticize Kim Kardashian‘s parenting style and allowing their daughter to use TikTok, amongst other issues. Questioning another parent should be done behind closed doors, directly with them, and without implicating other people or taking the grievances directly to your children. It is healthy that despite this very public criticism, Kim chose to take the highroad and say that she still has Kanye‘s back with the kids at any given time.
It is not often we can take any kind of a lesson from celebrity culture, in my opinion. But Kim‘s position on making sure she supports the children’s relationship with their father, despite her own issues with him is certainly positive. She reiterated a desire to handle all matters pertaining to their children privately and hopefully that can happen. In your own case, it should be no different. Social media, Instagram, TikTok, wherever you may be active, is not the place to discuss your divorce or talk badly about your children’s other parent. Do not do it in public, do not do it to your children. Keeping the focus on a happy and stable relationship between parents and children is critical in shepherding through the divorce process.