Remember when you were a child and you relied on your parents for everything? They fed you, dressed you, sheltered you and kept you safe when you were very young and continued to do so as you grew though your role in your care likely increased as you aged. You could depend on your parents for anything and, if you were one of the unlucky ones that did not have parents on whom you could rely, you probably spent a lot of time wishing that you did. Though these days children are likely to spend more time on their phones than to play “it” or “hide and seek” in their local neighborhood as you did (knowing to head home as the sun started to set), just like you did with your parents, your children need and rely and depend on you to be there and to be there in a reliable and stable way.
And, remember when you were a child, and something unexpected or difficult happened in your life? You likely turned to your parents to see their reaction and learn how to respond to what you were going through. You could depend on your parents not to leave it up to you alone to deal with the unexpected event or to resolve the difficult situation. Though they may have asked for your input if you were an older teenager, it is more likely the case that they made the decision that they knew would resolve the event or difficult situation in a way that would be best for you and, if it was a family problem, for the family as a whole. Just like you did with your parents, your children need and rely and depend on you to be there to resolve difficulties and to do so in a reliable and stable way.
And, finally, remember when you were a child and you saw your parents fighting? You may have worried that they would break up and maybe they did. Just like you did with your parents, your children need and rely and depend on you to be there to keep things calm and stable and safe in every case, including divorce.
Divorce is NOT time for you as parents to fall apart but rather, a time for you to come together, to model cooperation and to continue to provide structure, dependability, reliability and responsibility for your children. Divorce is a FAMILY EVENT but as parents, you are the heads of the family and how you act determines how everyone in the family reacts. Divorce effects everyone in the family and everyone in the family needs to be considered. Your children are looking to YOU as their parents to resolve their problems and this is no truer than it is in the case of divorce. Your children don’t want someone they have never met before and who has never met them to decide the present and future of their lives. It is you, their parents, who they want in that role. It is you on whom they depend and rely and you whom they need to act responsibly.