If you are an Arkansas parent who is going through a divorce, it is important to put the best interests of your children first. Parental conflict can be the most difficult part of a divorce for children.
Ideally, parents should try to avoid court and reach an agreement on custody, visitation and other parenting issues through negotiation. However, this is not always possible. If parents do end up in family court, it is still possible to shield children from conflict. One parent may face an extra challenge if they are dealing with another parent who is not committed to this course of action, but refusing to engage in arguments and keeping all communication fact-based and focused on scheduling and other child-focused matters can help.
There are a few things that parents may be tempted to do but that they should also avoid. When emotions are running high, they may want to make it difficult for the other parent to see the children. There may be conflict over parenting styles, but this does not mean that either person is wrong in their approach. Instead, parents should support their child’s relationship with the other parent even if their own relationship is rocky. They should not talk to the child about their disagreements with the other parent.
While it is okay for parents to say that they are sad or upset over the divorce, they should not burden the child with their emotional state. They should listen to children when they want to talk about their feelings about the divorce and should be prepared to see a variety of reactions, from acting out to apparent stoicism to anything in between. Children will take some time to adjust, and parents need to be supportive while they work through these emotions.
A child-centered approach to divorce is not always the easiest path, but it is the most beneficial to children. In the long run, it sets an excellent example for children and demonstrates to them that they are a priority despite the divorce.