Whether our memories of childhood interactions with our parents fall into the Field of Dreams category (“Hey, dad? Wanna play catch?”) or something less desirable and possibly even traumatic, what is likely true for all of us is that we are shaped by those interactions. A reality of parenting is that we have great power over our children. Their developing minds cannot yet process the kinds of subtle, nuanced communication that most adults take for granted, and that means that we must be more cognizant of our impact on our children.
This is especially true if we decide that it’s best to seek a divorce from our spouse. AMS Mediation of Burnsville, Minnesota, can provide insight into how to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children, and maximize our self-awareness as it relates to the messages we communicate to our children before, during, and after divorce. Children’s minds and perceptions are vulnerable precisely because they are children’s minds. The introduction of a family transition, such as divorce, to their lives makes them all the more vulnerable.
Impact of Divorce On Children’s Perception
It’s natural to forget that we have great influence over our children. To be deeply invested in their lives sometimes creates a counterproductive overestimation of their sensitivity to how we interact with them. But when divorce is introduced to the family situation, stress, and perhaps even vulnerability, is felt by all involved. There is never a better time for parents to consider the impact they have on their children.
Even in our materialistic world, it’s likely true that most if not all children would trade any possession in order to feel safe and secure with their parents. During a divorce, when stress is high, it’s possible that we lose our tempers and direct it at our children. It’s important to remember to empathize with them as they experience the divorce with us.
Being mindful of their experience will result in the expression of empathy and understanding. Lend them your undivided attention and reinforce the kind of memories that will form the foundation of their understanding of you throughout their lives.
AMS Mediation: A Healthy Way To Handle Divorce
Likewise, work to be kind and generous to your spouse, especially during the divorce proceedings. This will set a positive example for your children by demonstrating how to be civil even during conflict. The words we choose with our children make a huge difference in their perceptions of self, and it’s arguably our most important job to set them up for engaging with life by first liking and respecting themselves. Mediation can be a positive and impactful forum to get through the process of divorce with minimal pain and suffering. If you would like more information, contact AMS Mediation at 952-252-1492.