Conflict between Parents is what negatively impacts on children’s wellbeing!!
Children who come from intact, nuclear families look no different than children who come from a divorced family. The research is so very blatantly clear on this. The caveat for this is that the children of divorced families have the same outcomes as children from intact families if they are not embroiled in the conflict. In other words, as long as children are unencumbered by the conflict, they will thrive and succeed as would your average child/ren from an “intact” home.
Having said this, children who are embroiled in the conflict tend to have very poor outcomes in terms of academics, behaviour, emotional & psychological functioning, peer relations and generally do not fare as well in life.
It is expected, if not anticipated that newly separated and divorced parents will experience a great deal of stress and conflict between themselves. It is important for the parents to have an outlet for their anger, mistrust and disappointment with their soon to be ex-husband or ex-wife. It is critical that all the negative and pent up feelings do not spill over towards the children.
I know, it is easier said than done! But none-the-less critical. See it as a gift that you are giving your child when you keep them sheltered from the conflict of your imminent divorce. Each time you bad mouth the other parent, you are in essence chipping away at your child’s fragile self-esteem. You see- you child is a product of BOTH OF YOU! When you speak negatively about the other parent it is as if you are speaking negatively about your child. Your child/ren inherently know that their DNA is made up of the two of you, thus they are left feeling less worthy.
Give your child the greatest gift of all- by at least putting on the front of respecting the other parent. If you are unable to do so honestly- then remember “FAKE IT until you MAKE IT!”