It was the cautious wave of your child’s right hand that warned you as well as awakened you. That gesture told you to back off and not fuel the fire by engaging in another argument with your former spouse. All while your daughter stood between the two of you. She is a child, but she is wise and observant. She is a child, but she did not sign up to be a referee for her battling parents.

Please do not thrust your child in the middle of such situations. When this occurs, youngsters feel the pressure and stress. Suddenly, they are forced into action as the peacemaker. Being a child of divorce sometimes forces kids to grow up faster, especially when witnessing so many parental disagreements. Think of the potential psychological turmoil you are putting them through. You are the adults, so please behave like adults, set examples and try to maintain some civility.

Communicate and remain civil

Communication is key in any relationship, even the ones that faltered. And since you have a child with your former spouse, communication remains essential. Here are some things to remember:

  • Stay as civil as possible with your former spouse.
  • Avoid criticizing your former spouse, especially in front of your child. The youngster loves both of you. And they likely remember everything that you said and usually understand every painful word, too.
  • If your former spouse attempts to start an argument, maintain your composure. Take the high road and take the pain from the vitriol, but do not take the bait. This is not a situation in which you want to engage.
  • Letting go of anger is difficult to do, but can be done. Stop listening to those bad tapes in your head, many of which originated from experiences with your former spouse. Consider seeing with a therapist.

You want your child to grow up in an environment as healthy as possible. Even with the obstacle of a divorce, this is possible. Choosing the civil approach to communication with your former spouse can go a long way, reaping benefits you did not know were even possible.