Things to avoid
Children are usually very loyal and trusting so it is important to look at the ways in which you behave with them to make sure you are not abusing their loyalty and trust. Set out here are some of the subtle ways in which parents can take advantage of their children in the midst of a messy separation.
– using your children as messengers between the two of you teaches children that adults cannot talk honestly or directly to each other.
– asking a child to report on the other parent is destructive – it is using a child for your own ends.
‘Your father is a slob’ ‘Your mother is a fool’
– anger between parents has a destructive effect on children.
‘Disneyland daddy’ ‘Mummy Santa’
– when visits are used just to give the child a good time, or outings and gifts take the place of normal parenting.
‘I still love him but he doesn’t love me’ ‘I want to keep the house for the kids but she wants to sell it’
– this puts pressure on your children to take sides.
‘You can go if you like … but we are going on a picnic’
– don’t set up competing activities, it spoils children’s pleasure in being with either parent.