It is important that parents understand that their children have rights, especially when the parents are splitting up. When a child’s parents split up, children need to know that it is not their fault and they shouldn’t blame themselves.
Parents should make sure their children know the following:
- KIDS NEED TO BE KIDS: Children have the right not to worry about their Mom and Dad’s adult problems. Kids need to concentrate on their schoolwork, their friends, their extra-curricular activities and shouldn’t be worrying about Mom and Dad.
- LOVE YOUR CHILDREN: Children have the right to love their Mom and Dad. Children also have the right to be loved by their Mom and Dad. Children should not feel guilty about wanting to see their dad or their mom at any time. It is important for the children to have both parents in their lives. This is especially important during times when the child is having a difficult time, like when the child’s Mom and Dad break-up.
- BOTH PARENTS MATTER: Children have a right to have a relationship with both parents. Do not make your children pick one parent over the other. Children may want to have an opinion about which parent they want to live with and the parent should let them express their opinion. What the parent should not do is force the child to make that choice. The law allows the Court to hear from the child, in certain circumstances, however, it is not advised to bring your child into the litigation process. If the parents can’t work it out, Mom and Dad should go to a Judge or Mediator to make the decision for them.
- CHILDREN HAVE FEELINGS: Children are entitled to feel the way they do. Parents should not make their child embarrassed by their feelings. It is scary and confusing when parents break up, and the children can feel scared, or angry, or sad, or whatever they feel. Your job is to love your children.
- Keep Your Problems Away From The Children: Parents sometimes get caught up in their own problems and seek help from their children, regardless of the child’s age. You can’t ask your children to help you with your adult problems.
- CHILDREN MUST BE PROTECTED: Parents need to protect their children, both physically and/or emotionally. Children need to know that if another Parent or individual is hurting them, they should either tell the other parent or an adult they trust like a teacher.
- RELATIVES MATTER: Even if one parent has primary custody of the children, the Parent should still remember that your children’s grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins are still a large part of their lives. It is important to make sure your children see their relatives, even if you aren’t getting along with the other parent.