The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


What are some common mistakes that parents make during a divorce?

Although most parents assume they will only act in the best interest of their children, in the heat of the divorce many parents act against their better judgment. Based on the clinical and research literature, here is a list of what not to do. In short, do not triangulate your child into your battle with your spouse.

What Not To Do Example
Put down your former spouse in front of your child “Your father is such a selfish jerk.”
Bribe your child out of competition with the other parent Spend large amounts of money in an attempt to woo children away from the other parent.
Pump your child for information about the other parent “Is she still seeing that man?” “How often is he coming over?”
Use your child to punish your former spouse Withhold custody payments out of anger at the custodial parent
Make your child choose between parents “Wouldn’t you rather spend Christmas with me?”
Confuse your feelings about your former spouse with your children’s feelings about their parent “Joey doesn’t seem to want to see his father anymore, so I’m not making him.”

Common Parenting Mistakes Made During a Divorce

This is a web preview of the "The Handy Psychology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App