While most parents try to shelter their children from the conflict, some parents use poor judgment. These misguided parents talk to the children about the details of the case or share court documents with them. If this behavior is brought to their attention, judges will usually enter restraining orders restricting either parent from revealing any details to the children. If your spouse is talking to the children about the case or talking negatively about you, speak with your attorney about your options. It might be a good idea to seek court- ordered counseling for the children to try to counter your spouse’s negative behavior.
Parents who share information with the children under the pretense, “I am not going to lie to my children,” are fooling themselves, if not being outright dishonest. There is a difference between lying to the children and being discreet for the sake of their emotional welfare. White lies that protect the children are acceptable and good common sense.
Parents who use their children as confidants also hurt the children. Even though everyone needs a friend and confidante during a difficult period in his or her life, don’t make your child that person. You don’t help your children by placing them in that role. During a period when there is much upheaval for children, they need the guidance and protection of a parent who knows when to say no. And it is much harder to say no to a friend. Don’t give up your parenting responsibilities during this difficult time.
Even if your spouse has mistreated you, it is rare that the disclosure of the mistreatment will in any way benefit the children. The children need a relationship with both of you. They need the security of knowing that it is okay to love both of you. When you rage to the children about your spouse, this will inhibit the children from expressing their love for the other parent. Put your feelings aside for the best interest of your children.
You can purchase Steven Peskind's book titled, Divorce in Illinois: The Legal Process, Your Rights and What to Expect on Amazon.com by clicking here.