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Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

What if kids blame you for the divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Divorce |

Telling the children about your divorce can be the hardest step to take in the process of ending your marriage. It is impossible to know exactly how your child may react.

In past blog posts, we have provided tips to follow if your child lashes out in anger. However, what if your child actively blames you for the divorce when there is no wrongdoing? There are some critical things to consider.

1. Determine if this is the result of parental alienation

Is your ex-spouse badmouthing you to your child? Is your child repeating familiar phrases you have heard from your ex before? If this is the case, it is possible that parental alienation could be the source of your child casting blame on you.

If you suspect parental alienation, it is important to gather evidence. Even so, there are legal steps you can take if you believe this is the case since alienation in any form is adverse to the best interests of your children.

2. Try to understand

What if your child’s actions are not the result of alienation? This can almost be more upsetting to parents. However, it is critical to note that this is not an uncommon reaction children have. Yet, being the target of the blame is not something any parent wants. In these cases, it can help to:

  • Understand the many reactions kids may have and the potential reasons behind them
  • Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes to comprehend their feelings
  • Communicate with your co-parent, especially if alienation is not an issue
  • Give your child space, but be there for them

It is difficult to strike a balance in these cases when you have unconditional love for your child and they push you away. You must remember that in these cases when alienation is not a factor, this blame could be the manifestation of many other complicated emotions your child is trying to process.

There may be some situations where seeking guidance from a family therapist can help.

3. Keep moving forward

This situation is not easy, to say the least. However, one item in your control is your reaction – as well as your next actions. Stick to your North Carolina parenting plan, and focus on being the best parent you can be. Show your child that you love them and are there for them, no matter what.

More likely than not, your child will come around. Processing the divorce is a challenge for everyone in your family, especially those with young minds. You can focus on moving forward and being ever-present for your children.