When you divorced, you may have done what many other California parents do; that is, you may have gathered your children to inform them of your decision and invite discussion regarding their feelings about the topic. Divorce is seldom easy and you yourself may understand the absolute roller coaster of emotions that often accompanies the process; so, it may have come as no surprise to you that your children were somewhat struggling.
Hopefully, you had a strong support network ready and willing to lend a hand as you and your kids took your first steps toward a new lifestyle together. You likely had good days and bad, along with ups and downs. Most times, you and your children are probably able to overcome problems that arise, whether having to do with their emotions or a more particular incident such as visitation logistics.
Some problems are more serious than others are
If you notice your relationship with your children declining since your divorce, you may want to thoroughly analyze the situation to determine what may be causing the decline and what options you might have to rectify the situation. The following list comprises several things that often weaken a parent/child relationship in divorce:
- Too much information: Adult matters are not for children's ears. In your effort to be open and honest with your children about your divorce, you'll want to be careful not to give them information regarding your former marriage or their other parent that they are probably better off not knowing.
- False choices: If you're operating under an existing court order where visitation is concerned, then you and your children are already bound to it. Telling them that they can choose when to visit their other parent when it isn't true might confuse them and even make them angry in the long run when they realize they don't have a say in the matter after all.
- Badmouthing the other parent: Your children love you and their other parent. If you are always talking bad about that person, it might backfire when instead of agreeing, your children become upset or distant from you.
If you believe the issues between yourself and your kids are a type of natural fallout that you expected to happen when you divorced, then perhaps a little more time is all that's needed for wounds to heal and to build relationship bridges. However, if you have reason to think your former spouse is intentionally trying to alienate your kids from you, you might wish to discuss the matter with someone who is well versed in family law.