One of the hardest things for a divorcing parent is knowing that your child will suffer. It can be easy to feel guilty about this and think that you need to make it up to them.
Divorce is a reality of life for many adults and many children. Your child will not be the first or the last to suffer because of it. While you should take steps to minimize the harm your divorce does to your child, you should not try to make it up to them by overindulging them.
Children might not appreciate your efforts to indulge them
A recent investigation asked adults to think back to episodes of overindulgence they had as children and asked how they had felt about it. It defined overindulgence as giving a child too much, whether that be attention or things, doing too much for them and allowing them to have life too easy. Here are the top five answers:
- 48% felt loved
- 44% felt confused
- 40% felt embarrassed
- 31% felt guilty, bad or sad
- 29% felt ashamed after initially feeling good
As a parent, you might overindulge your child to show them you love them. Yet, the study suggests the message gets through less than half the time and the likelihood of your attempts having one or more negative effects are high.
Overindulging a child can lead to problems when they turn older
Perhaps more worrying, the study found that 71% of the adults reported their parent’s overindulgence still had a negative effect on their life, making it hard for them to set realistic expectations. Many said they had issues related to self-worth.
The best thing you can do to help your child get over your divorce is to cooperate and communicate with the other parent. Children will soon adapt to a change of living circumstances if they still have two parents who continue to act like their parents.