No matter what else happens in life, a parent will always love his or her child. He or she will always do whatever they think is in the best interest of the child; however, they don’t always get it right. Many California parents unwittingly put their children in difficult positions when going through divorce, when a little forethought might prevent additional stress and heartache.
However much one may wish to have no further dealings with an estranged spouse, a certain level of communication is still necessary when a couple has a child. Whether custody is shared equally or whether visitation is more restricted, there will still be a necessity for the parents to discuss the welfare and progress of the child they share. It can be easy to ask a child to remind the other parent to check the child’s homework, or to ask him or her to show a note from school to the other parent. However, a child will often forget such requests, or pass the message on incorrectly.
Sometimes, the results may be inconsequential, while on other occasions, an appointment may be missed or other vital information may not be passed on. This may result in an argument between parents, leaving the child feeling guilty. A child can become adept at hiding his or her feelings, withdrawing and concealing indicators of the feelings of responsibility for trying to reduce the number of arguments between the parents. Older children may react in the opposite manner, acting out in an effort to distract the parents from arguing with each other.
Direct communication between California parents, using email or other methods, can help their children feel less pressured. In this manner, there is less chance of misunderstandings occurring. If parents have difficulty having discussions in an amicable and constructive manner, there are a number of ways in which this may be overcome. Using mediation, or setting up a formal co-parenting plan, are also effective methods of doing what is in the best interest of the child.
Source: Mission Viejo, CA. Patch, “Children Are Not Mailboxes: Divorced Parents Must Communicate With Each Other“, Susan C. Schena, June 27, 2017