Whether it’s been an amicable settlement, or you are sailing through the turbulent waters of an ugly divorce, it can be a wrenching experience when there are kids in the picture. However, there is a lot you that can be done to help kids cope with the situation. If you are going through a divorce, and have kids, keep in mind that this is the time your child needs you the most.
Offering a sense of stability and sanity, hope and reassurance can all help dull the impact of divorce on children of different ages. Here are some tips from the legal experts at Daniel Cooper that can help:
- Don’t talk with your kids about any disagreements and adult concerns related to money matters or your spouse. It’s best to confide in a good therapist or a friend instead. This will take some strain off of the kids.
- Don’t speak poorly about your ex. The disputes you have with your ex-spouse should be kept away from your children and you need to make every effort to shield them from the frustration and conflicts you are going through.
- Don’t question your children about what the other parent is doing or what’s going on in that house. While it’s okay to ask some general questions about how your child spends his or her time there, it isn’t a good idea to snoop.
- Don’t introduce any drastic changes in your kid’s life if that’s something you can manage. Try to maintain your regular family routines and the standard community ties.
- Continue to parent just as usual. You might feel a sense of guilt that your children have to cope with the situation that you and your spouse have created. However, it won’t help if you permit them to stay up beyond bedtime or shower them with too many gifts. They will feel a sense of security if you are consistent and firm.
- Encourage your child to call your ex when they want to share any news or even if they feel like chatting. Keep the other parent properly informed about any activities that the children are involved in and what’s happening at school.
- Make an effort to learn more about exactly how to help your kid cope with the divorce. A number of national organizations can assist families with understanding the impact that divorce has on children. These organizations offer workshops for both, parents and kids.
- Get help for children having trouble coping with divorce. Young kids may show certain regressive behavior such as bedwetting and excessive clinginess; older kids may become aggressive, withdrawn, angry, depressed, or even have problems with academics and school. A good child therapist can provide a safe zone for your kid to express her/his feelings.
- Seek help if you can’t interact without hostility with your ex. Your divorce lawyer would be able to provide references of a good family therapist or even a professional mediator. This can help you develop an amicable communication style which has less of a negative effect on your children.
The long and the short of it is that divorce doesn’t have to hamper the manner in which your children function for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t have to prevent them from building healthy and strong relationships of their own down the line. A divorce is a major life event, not just for the couple involved, but for their kids as well. But if you follow these pointers, it can help you get your kids through this difficult phase in a much healthier way.