How divorced parents in Tennessee should act around their kids

Parents should be clear on what to say and how to act around their kids to strengthen their relationship during a tough time.

Parents who have just gotten divorced for the first time in Tennessee are embarking on new territory. For that reason, they should have a few tips on how to navigate these unexplored waters for the betterment of themselves as well as their children, who are also learning how to restructure their lives after their parents split up.

Watch what you say around your kids

One of the first things divorced parents should do is try their best to refrain from saying unkind things about each other in front of their children, no matter how tempting it might be to do otherwise. One reason for this is because when a child hears one parent badmouthing the other, she or he might start to share the same opinion about that parent, whether it is true or not.

Do not feel as if you have failed as a parent

Parents want to do their best when it comes to raising their kids, and sometimes they feel like they missed the target if they are not able to make their marriages work out. Here, parents should bear in mind that their capacity to be a husband or wife has no bearing on their capacity to be a mother or father.

Think about what you bring up when talking with your kids

Sometimes, divorced parents discuss topics their kids have no control over, such as bills, debt and the divorce itself. While kids should know a few details about the divorce, they often feel helpless (and sometimes even guilty) when mom and dad talk with them about missing alimony or child support payments, or now having to carry most of the financial load. The topic of money might come up when kids ask for something one of the divorced parents cannot afford, but parents should content themselves and their children with a firm, "money is tight right now."

Let the kids know they can still talk about both parents

Depending on whether kids are living with one parent, they might get the impression they cannot talk about the other parent. Because both parents are part of the child's life, it makes sense that they want to talk about both parents with both parents, which should be permitted. That being said, just like parents should not badmouth each other, parents should not let kids badmouth them either.

Doing what is best for the children of divorced parents in Tennessee can be more than a little confusing and emotionally taxing. Meeting with an experienced attorney is always a solid idea for the good of everyone involved.