The risks of letting guilt control post-divorce parenting


Parents generally want what’s best for their kids. This is no less the case when parents are divorcing. Unfortunately, there are many things that could lead well-intentioned parents to inadvertently take actions that aren’t in their children’s best interests when going through a divorce.

One is letting guilt control their behavior towards their kids. It is pretty common for divorcing parents to feel guilt regarding the potential impacts their kids could experience from the divorce. When parents let this guilt take the reins in their post-divorce parenting, it could lead to them taking actions such as:

  • Trying to “outdo” their ex when it comes to the kids.
  • Being too lenient towards the children.
  • Being too strict on the kids.
  • Being too controlling of the children.

Such things could actually make it harder for a child to healthily adjust to the effects the divorce is having on their family and their life.

So, it is important for divorcing parents to be aware of guilt they are feeling regarding the kids. It is also critical for them to make sure that it is what is best for the kids, and not guilt, that is driving their parenting decision-making.

Another thing that could lead to a divorcing parent inadvertently harming their children’s best interests is not being properly prepared in child custody matters in the divorce. When a parent makes mistakes in custody proceedings or negotiations due to lack of preparation, it could have significant impacts on both them and their kids. Divorcing parents can seek out help with preparing for child custody matters and other divorce matters that touch on the kids from skilled divorce lawyers.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Effects Of Guilt-Driven Parenting After Divorce,” Donna Mott, Sept. 6, 2016

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