Saturday, March 10, 2012
In Marriage Challenges Think About the Kids Too
But unfortunately some parents are more about the divorce and their own feelings and think little of the children and the impact their warring and selfishness have on the kids.
And while everyone's situation is certainly unique there are some principles and guidelines that would be worth considering if you and your spouse are going through hard times or already well down the road to separation or divorce.
First, limit how much of the angst your children see and feel. You're adults so wait to have your major blowups and disagreements for when the young ones aren't around or sleeping (and make sure they are). Yes, children must eventually know some things and if they are old enough probably already do. In those cases bring them into the situation carefully (more on that in a moment).
Second, don't do anything on purpose to add more antagonism in your children toward your spouse. Some spouses bring negativity on themselves and you can't help that but we can at least do our part to keep the children's relationship with their mom or dad as healthy as possible. If your marriage fails the kids deserve to still have a meaningful connection with both parents if possible.
Third, as things get worse, if they do, see that your kids have someone to talk to. A pastor, counselor, same-sex adult friend, therapist. They will need someone outside your relationship with whom they can speak honestly and share some of the emotions they most likely do not understand. Get some recommendations from clergy or local agencies as to who might be best.
Fourth, make sure that you and your spouse are getting help. If you're working on things then the things you learn can translate into your home and perhaps your marriage can be saved.
Don't stay in your marriage just for the kids. But don't leave your kids out of the process - they have feelings too and your example is one of the few they will have to follow.