Divorce is very stressful for all members of the family. I believe parents always want what is best for their children, however, during stressful times, our judgment is clouded. It often seems parents forget that children do not have the ability to process all of the issues related to the divorce as quickly as adults. Children do not have the emotional maturity needed to understand that couples can fall out of love but still love their children.
One of the most pressing questions from children is “will my mom or dad stop loving me?” They also worry about hurting their parent’s feelings, so often the children are not completely honest when asked for their input about a parenting plan. Parents want to set up two households and expect the children to fall into place. I often ask parents how they would feel if all of the sudden they had to live in two different houses. I encourage parents to remember that children are not commodities and cannot be traded at will. Some children fair better than others. It is our job as parents to always do what is best for our children. Every child is different.
Please remember to customize parenting plans that are in your children’s best interests. It is not easy to admit that the parenting plan you desire may not be best for your children. However, it is always best for your child’s mental, emotional and physical health to keep their best interests as the priority. Please remember that your children are not an experiment!