Stereotypes are something that just about all of us have had to deal with in our lives. Whether the stereotype has to do with the color of our skin, our sex, the activities we engage in, where we come from, or any other factor under the sun, the fact is that stereotypes can not only be hurtful, but they can linger with the person for many years. Stereotyping someone means that you don’t give that person an opportunity 2 being an individual and show the world their talents. Rather, by stereotyping someone, you are painting them with an extensive brush, wiping out any degree of uniqueness that person may have.
When we talk about stereotypes of divorced children, we have to discuss how these stereotypes can not only harm a child in the short and long term but can stick with the child for many years to come. Not only that, but it can be challenging for your child to see themselves as something beyond that stereotype if they become aware that is how they are being judged and viewed by others. For that reason, I think it is important for you to understand the challenges for your family and especially for your children now that you are in the midst of a divorce or child custody case.
Common stereotype #1: the children have a favorite parent
This is probably a more common stereotype that you see parents show concern over versus other people. Suppose you have always had a close relationship with your children. One of the main considerations you may be given 2 life after divorce is whether or not you will maintain that strong relationship despite the challenges that come with raising children after a divorce. Among these challenges is avoiding problems with your child potentially choosing sides after divorce and picking one parent as their favorite or preferred parent. Whether or not this is likely for you or your family, I think you need to focus on what you can control about your child in your relationship with them.
During a divorce, I think it is beneficial for you to be able to place a focus on your children and help them to understand that your interests are completely aligned with theirs. This means that you should do everything possible to ensure that your child knows you are there for them and that their interests align with your own. Even if your children are young, they understand very well on an intuitive level where your interest lies in the divorce. If you are constantly making the case all about you, you will likely have some problems connecting with your child and rebuilding your relationship with them.
Sometimes it is unavoidable that you will have a disruption in your relationship with your child. It would be amazing if you could avoid this sort of disruption within your own family during a divorce. However, so much happens within a divorce case that even the most resilient children and dedicated parents end up experiencing disruption to their relationship over time. This should not be your number one parameter as to whether or not you are experiencing positive or negative growth within your relationship with your child. It would help if you focused on your time spent with your children, your willingness to listen to their concerns, and your own efforts to continue working to improve your health. These are all efforts that will go a long way towards helping you succeed in helping your family during this difficult time.
One of the more frustrating things is that parents often in a divorce or child custody case will use the circumstances they are involved in to alienate their child from the other parent. Parental alienation is a big deal in Texas family law cases, and it’s certainly something that you should keep an eye on in your case and life. You can see alienation occur if your child suddenly starts acting out towards you or even being disrespectful to you in front of other people. Some children admittedly have problems with these issues, to begin with, period; however, if your child begins to active away, that is out of the ordinary for them along these lines, then you may be a victim of parental alienation.
Most frequently, DC alienation occurs when your child is being exposed to language about you that is far from positive. Many times this sort of language can be rather but nine, but sometimes it steps over the line and can be extremely harmful to your relationship with your child. Even having your Co-parent say casually negative things about you in front of your children can be enough to harm your relationship with them. Remember that your child is extremely impressionable no matter their age. For that matter, you need to keep an eye on what your child is exposed to at your home then have an open line of communication with your Co-parent about what is said in their home.
This can start with having an open line of communication with your Co-parent. Although it can be difficult to work together with your Co-parent during a difficult stretch of your lives, I still believe that you all are well equipped in that you love your children and want what is best for him or them. If you can remember your shared goals of doing what is best for your children during this case, then I think you can avoid the worst of any disruptions to your lives as a family. Remember that the family law case will not be forever. However, the wounds created as a result of the case can be extremely detrimental both now and in the future.
I also find that when you have open lines of communication with your Co-parent, you are less likely to say negative things about them even when they cannot hear you. This means that you can build up trust with them while also working alongside them to raise your child as a team. That is the essence of Co-parenting and is the basis for engaging readily in these important subjects. For the most part, the problems that attorneys see spring up between families during divorce cases can be solved with communication and planning. If you fail to communicate and cannot plan changes along the way of your family lowercase with your Co-parent, you may experience difficulty both now and in the future.
Instead, encourage your Co-parent to talk with you regularly about what is happening with your child. For better or worse, having this open line of communication will encourage you all to walk through any potential problems in hopes of strengthening your child’s relationship with both parents. Many parents see their child’s love as a 0 sum game period cleaning that any affection your child gives to you will necessarily be taken away from the other parent and vice versa. This could not be farther from the truth and could work to harm your child a great deal in the long run.
Rather, you can view raising your child as a continued team effort from now and into the future on a never-ending basis. There are very few cases where I see a child who would stand to benefit from only having contact with one of their parents. The odds are good that your family is not one of these exceptions but rather part of the trend where children do better with constant reinforcement from both parents. By refusing to engage in alienating behavior and working with your Co-parent, you could not only avoid the perception that your child favors one of you over the other but will be a key tool in developing strategies with your Co-parent to raise your child in a post-divorce world.
Finally, one of the important things to be aware of is that your child will either sink or swim in a post-divorce world based on your willingness to take the advice provided in a blog post like this and tailor the advice to perspectives that you have in actually raising your child. Do you know your child better than anyone? Certainly, you know your child better than some divorce attorneys or a family court judge. As a result, he should feel confident in taking the approach of tailoring this type of advice to the circumstances that are affecting your family.
Stereotype #2: children of divorce never recover fully
One of the reasons why some people delay getting a divorce that could send benefit them and their family in the long term is but they have heard that children who go through a divorce never fully recover from the stresses of their case. Some children never become involved in their parent’s case, whether through testifying in court or through working with their parents on plans for a childcare city schedule. On the other hand, some children become involved in their parent’s divorced to a great extent by having to testify in court or even speak to a judge outside of the courtroom. It is my approach that children should be involved in a divorce case as little as possible if only two shield them as much as they can be from the stresses of a contested divorce case. We see this happened with cases where children become involved in the case and have some degree of difficulty shaking the stigma or involvement they’ve had.
We need to ask ourselves to what extent children can avoid difficulties associated with a divorce case regardless of their involvement in the case itself. Of course, you may be involved in a case where your child needs to play the role to one extent or another. I would never want to speculate whether or not your child needs to participate in a divorce case. With that said, I think that your child can overcome your divorce case in no small part due to having parents who take time and concern over the well-being of their children.
In this regard, my impression is that children can overcome many difficulties associated with a divorce case if they are exposed to parents who are willing to talk to them about the case at an age-appropriate level. This means that based on your child’s age, they may be better suited to being talked to in limited amounts regarding their case and its future. For instance, we see people who tell their children relatively little about the case, which may cause them to be less interested. On the other hand, making your case and the great unknown to your child could cause them to become more interested and seek out information due to any information being hard to come by through you.
Very young children have less of a capacity for understanding the events of a divorce. This means that you do not and probably should not share too much information with them about your case. Mainly, you can share the constant love that you and your spouse have for your kids, well reinforcing the idea that you both will always be there for them no matter what circumstances seem to be befalling them otherwise. On the other hand, younger children have less capacity to understand what is happening in a case. For that reason, you should be careful about the information that you share with your younger children.
Older children have a greater capacity for understanding what is going on in your divorce. However, you still do not need to share overly personal details or specific information about the case as it pertains to things that may cause your child to experience negative thoughts about their other parent. This gets back to the parental alienation point that I was making earlier in today’s blog post; if you can avoid putting your child in a position where they have to concern themselves with a divorce constantly, then you are probably shielding them from most of the negative aspects of the case.
As the old saying goes, time heals all wounds. The further your child gets from the divorce, the less impact I believe the case will have in their life. Children adjust to new normal situations just as adults do. Some children may even adjust easier than you do. However, that does not mean that you should assume that time will progress and allow for healing to take place in your child’s life. Rather, it would be best to be proactive about approaching the case and what you are doing to ensure that your children are cared for in light of the problems that can pop up in a child’s life after a divorce.
This means that you need to be intentional about approaching your case and what your plan is to help your child deal with the aftermath of a divorce. Having a plan is essential to being able to do so. It is not enough to want 2 do right by your children and see them regained their footing after divorce. Rather, you must be able to take actual steps towards eliminating as many risks to your child as possible as far as they’re suffering long-term health. What you choose to do in terms of your child’s well-being will affect them on a long-term basis.
For instance, your children may benefit from going to counseling or therapy together with you. I realize that counseling or therapy sometimes has negative connotations. Still, I can assure you that seeking help isn’t as much about the actual psychology of the circumstances as simply allowing you and your children to be able to have a dialogue with one another. Think back to your divorce. Unless you have many tools in your communication toolbox, you may be suffering from issues that need to be fixed by a professional. Simply going through with therapy can allow you to focus your attention on your children with the assistance of a person who can help you communicate with them.
You can gain access and information regarding therapy from the Internet and by contacting your health insurance provider. Many health insurance plans cover family therapy and things of this nature. However, you must make the first step towards getting these problems resolved with your family. Otherwise, you will find that these problems can linger and produce real harm for you and your children in the future.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blogpost, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. These consultations are free of charge and are offered six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Not only does a consultation help as far as teaching you more about the world of Texas familylaw, but they can also help you to anticipate how your family circumstances may change due to the filing of a divorce or child custody case.