After a divorce, your children may feel uncomfortable. They may not know what to say or do, how they should address their parents or how they should act when they’re on their own with each parent individually.
What’s important not to do is complain in front of your children about the other parent. If you complain about your ex-wife or ex-husband in front of your children, then you may find that your children become uncomfortable when talking to you. They may feel they aren’t supposed to love both parents; this can be troubling to everyone involved. Your children want to please you, and they may think that loving the other parent will hurt you or make you angry at them.
Love is not a competition, and if children are in a situation where divorce has divided the family, not allowing them to express their love for the other parent can be hurtful. It can make them feel awkward around you and even alienate them later on. No parent wants that to happen, which is why parents need to focus on having mutual respect and on encouraging the healthy interactions between parents and their children.
Ideally, you’ll be in a position to co-parent your children. If you and your spouse can cooperate, that helps your child focus on living a normal life instead of worrying about expressing love or talking to either parent. You may not be able to co-parent, and that can be okay, too, as long as you are able to avoid conflicts that put your child in the middle.