When going through a divorce, it can be difficult to try and have those hard conversations, or even a normal one, with your to-be former spouse. For this reason, many divorcees will find themselves using their children as a means of passing along a message. It could be simple, or it could be malicious. No matter the reason, or the message, it’s important to understand that using your child as a messenger during divorce can be damaging in a number of ways. Therefore, it’s vital that you and your soon to-be ex (STBX) establish healthy lines of communication that don’t involve your children….
Avoid Messenger Madness: Keeping your Child out of the Middle
The first thing we need to establish is that using your child as a messenger during divorce is inappropriate. As we’ve said, no matter the message, your child is not a party of this divorce. Your children are not meant to pick sides, be involved in nasty conversations, or aware of any wrongdoings. As parents, we want to make sure our children are receiving as little damage as possible in this difficult time. The conflict of a divorce is high, and difficult for everyone involved. Therefore, adding the unnecessary discomfort of delivering a message can cause issues for your child.
I’m sure, at some point in your life, you’ve played the game ‘telephone’. You sit in a line, someone whispers a message down the line. By the time that message comes out the other side— it’s entirely different than what was said by the first person. Think of using your child as a messenger in a similar fashion. While their intentions are pure, and the message may be as well, it’s easy to lose track of a message from start to finish. These messages can cause conflict, missing deadlines, anger…
Create a healthy space for exchanging messages
Lastly, the best thing you can do with your STBX, is to create a method for passing messages along. Something different might work for you than for someone else. Maybe you’re okay with texting, emailing, Facebook messaging…. whatever your method may be— find a space that works for the two of you, and make that your primary source of communication. By finding a common space, you can pass along messages, appointments, documents… all forms of communication. By taking this route, you keep your kids out of it, and you keep yourselves organized.