Divorce is hard on everyone and especially tough on children. Don't be tempted to use your children to get back at your ex spouse; it will only damage your children in the process. Children need to develop good, strong, stable relationships with both parents. Parental alienation is a dangerous form of manipulation and can permanently destroy parental bonds and leave lasting scars.
Keep these lessons in mind to avoid alienating your children from the other parent:
Don't blame your ex for your lot in life. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your divorce, don't whine to your children. They are not to blame for where you are in life and they are not responsible for reversing your fortunes.
Don't criticize your ex in front of your children. This goes without saying but is alone of the most difficult challenges you will face after divorce. Regardless of how you feel about your ex, your children need his or her love and support and need the best possible relationship with Mom and Dad. Don't ruin that relationship.
Don't use your children as messengers to convey information, couriers to deliver documents or payments or spies to gather information about your ex. Communicate directly with your ex and leave the children out of it.
Don't discuss your divorce, the settlement terms or any other adult issues with your children. The details of your divorce should be reserved for you and your spouse. If you feel the need to “share,” do so with your friends or adult family members-not your children. The less the children know, the better.
Don't force your children to take sides. Children should not be forced to choose sides. They are not responsible for your marriage or your divorce and should remain neutral. Children shouldn't be pulled into their parents' divorce or be forced to fight your battles for you.
If you love your children, you will not alienate them from your ex. Be kind to your children by letting them be children. Give your children the freedom to enjoy their childhood free of the chaos of your divorce and they will be healthier and happier children.