Divorce can be difficult for everyone involved especially your children. However, there are things you can do to reduce the effect on your children and help them transition. If you have children and are going through a divorce, consider these tips to help them.
If it is possible, speak with the children about the impending divorce together. This is your first opportunity to co-parent. If it is not possible to speak with your children together; it is important to be thoughtful and intentional with your communication to your children. For example, you should prepare to talk to your children about the divorce. Try to anticipate possible reactions from them so you are prepared to help them understand what is happening.
In addition, be careful what you say when you are around your children. You do not want your children to hear you or anyone else speaking badly about your spouse. While it is understandable you may need to vent your emotions during divorce, make sure you do that when your children cannot overhear you.
Make a schedule and stick to it
Having clear expectations is essential for your children to transition into their new post-divorce life. Make a schedule for your children and then make sure you stick to that schedule. Your children should know what to expect while they are at home with you and at home with the other parent. They should also know what to expect in the big picture: When will they see the other parent? When will the other parent call to talk to them? What will they do for Christmas? Any deviation in that schedule can be confusing to the children so make sure you are clear in expectations and any changes that may occur. Children experience stress just like adults and it is the parent’s job to minimize their stress level during this process.
Listen to Your Children
Make time to listen to your children. These conversations may come up at unexpected times. Remember that it may be hard for your children to express their feelings so when they feel like talking, make the time to talk right then, if possible. In addition to listening to your children, accept what they tell you. Children will react differently and it is important that they do not feel judged. Whether your children are sad, hostile or angry, let them know that it is okay to feel the way they feel. Help them manage their feelings so that those feelings do not manifest in inappropriate ways.
Do not discuss your court case with your children, even if they ask about it. This is the number one thing that will cause the child confusion, anxiety and stress. The court process is difficult for adults to understand and it is unreasonable for a parent to expect a child to understand it.
Divorce can be hard on children but if you handle things in the right way, you can drastically reduce the effect on them and help them accept their new family structure.
What To Do Next:
Experiencing a family law issue can be overwhelming and stressful. Knowledgeable family attorneys do much more than represent clients, they understand how choices made in the legal process can drastically affect life afterwards.
Sandra F. Banks offers clients a No Hassle Family Law Strategy Session to make sure every client gets guidance on how to achieve a stable, secure and happy future.
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