Divorce is a difficult process that is especially tough on children who often feel isolated, confused and angry that their parents are splitting up.
And in some instances, that welter of emotions can manifest as sudden hatred against one or both parents, triggering even more conflict within a household.
So what are some of the ways you can respond if your child has hostile feelings toward you? Here are some tips that may help diffuse this type of conflict.
Acknowledge A Child’s Anger Toward You In a Divorce
One of the most effective ways to handle a child who expresses hatred for you during a divorce is to acknowledge that child’s feelings.
Ignoring the hostility or pretending it doesn’t exist will only trigger more emotion in your child, and make things worse.
Validate your child’s feelings by listening to why he or she is angry with you. Tell your child that you understand the anger he or she is feeling due to the circumstances.
Your goal is to allow your child to vent hurt feelings so that you can begin the process of healing.
Stay Involved In Your Child’s Life
In some divorces, raw emotions make it difficult for non-custodial parents to remain actively involved in the lives of their children.
It’s especially important when your child is angry with you that you maintain a constant presence in his or her life, even if it’s not wanted.
The worst thing you can do is to withdraw from your child’s life, because that will make the feelings of betrayal even worse.
It may not seem as if your child wants you around or cares that you are staying involved in activities such as school and sports, but your constant presence is proof that your love has never wavered, and that can help rebuild that sense of security your child so desperately needs.
Accept the Blame
Above all, it’s important that you accept the blame for the divorce, and not try to push it off on any other factor.
Your child needs honesty, and acknowledging that the divorce was a choice you and your ex-spouse made helps alleviate your child of the burden that the divorce was his or her fault.
Chances are, there’s enough blame to go around in a divorce, but you must do everything possible to ensure that your child doesn’t feel responsible.
An Advocate During a Divorce
Divorces that involve children can add additional layers of emotion and conflict in a situation that is often already at the boiling point. If you are trying to work through child custody and child support issues in a divorce, please call the Joubert Law Firm team at 225-761-3822 for a free legal consultation. We can help protect your rights in mediation or in front of a family court judge.