Friday, May 14, 2010

Using Children as Messengers

Another mistake parents of divorce often make is to put kids in the middle by using them as messengers. "For the most part," says Linda Jacobs, "children know when they are being used, and they resent being placed in this role. It will only serve to build a barrier between you and your children." Your children need you as a strong parent they can depend on and trust to be there for them. Children don't want to see their parent as weak and not capable of taking care of adult issues.

"I hate being in the middle," says Melissa, whose parents divorced. "Why can't my parents just talk?"

Dr. Archibald Hart says, "Don't use children to communicate messages from you to the other party. Children resent having to carry messages back and forth."

If you have something to say to your former spouse, find a way to relay the message without using your child as a go-between. There are several ways to communicate that do not involve your child: telephoning, e-mailing, writing a letter, or arranging to meet together at a neutral location when the child is not present. All of this can be done without putting your child in a stressful position.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me" (1 Corinthians 13:11).

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