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Don't put your kids in the middle of your divorce

You and your spouse don't get along, so you've separated. You're going through the motions, making sure you divorce correctly, but you've already roughly worked out custody plans for your kids.

The trouble is that the plans aren't yet 100%, and there are times when you and your estranged spouse have to talk. Those times tend to end up in screaming matches, so to avoid it, you've both been sending messages through your children.

What you've noticed is that your children seem uncomfortable letting mom or dad know what the other parent says. Why? Frankly, it's likely that neither of you are being as positive as you can when delivering messages. Maybe one of you angrily tells your child to tell the other parent that something won't work, or one of you rolls your eyes with a response that you expect your children to deliver.

Don't put your kids in the middle: Be your own messenger

It's a bad idea to put your children in the middle of your divorce disputes like this. Even if you're not saying anything negative outright, your actions and reactions tell a different story.

If you and your estranged spouse aren't getting along, you have options. You can talk to each other over text, use emails or set up a voicemail system. There are so many options that talking to each other through your children should never be on the table.

Children can be uncomfortable when they're the messengers

Children can become uncomfortable when delivering messages from one parent to another. Why? Imagine that you're a child who is giving bad news to your mom or dad time and time again. You know how they'll react, and that makes you feel unwelcome and unhappy. Of course, children won't want to deliver messages and may even act out.

If you and your spouse truly do not get along, don't put your kids in the middle. Your efforts should be spent on making your kids feel as comfortable as possible with the divorce. Your children are part of both of you, so when you disparage the other parent, it can make them feel as if they're bad or unworthy of affection, too. Don't make this mistake. Kids need support and stability.

Adults need to work through their problems on their own. Whatever you do, make sure you handle your conversations with your ex or estranged spouse yourself.

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