Divorce can end some unhappy, unhealthy unions, and in the end, can become the best solution for a struggling family. But if you’re a parent going through it, you’re probably thinking about more than just yourself. The decision to get divorced is hard, especially when there are children involved. Children have a hard time understanding and accepting it. Here are some steps to take to help with the adjustment.
Do Not Make Changes Overnight
If you make drastic changes immediately, it will be difficult for your children to adjust to the new normal. Change is hard! So, make a smooth transition, gradually. Reassure them that even though there will be some alterations in their schedules and daily routines, it will be possible to adapt and settle into a new normal.
It Is Normal For Children To Have Difficulty Expressing Their Feelings
You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk. Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Your child may be confused and sad about your divorce. Let them know that their feelings are completely normal. If necessary, an experienced therapist could help.
Work Hard To Co-Parent
When you fight, especially about a child, they will blame themselves and think they’ve done something wrong. This leads to feelings of guilt or depression. Attempt to keep your child out of the middle of arguments by discussing things when they aren’t present. Discuss things directly with the other parent instead of relaying information through the child.
Both Parents Must Stay Involved In The Child’s Life
Find ways for both parents to continue to play a meaningful role in their children’s lives. University studies have shown that having both parents actively involved in a child’s life can provide significant social, psychological, and health benefits. The stability of having a relationship with both parents can provide greater opportunities for children to find their own paths to success. Attend all their important events, help them whenever they have a problem, and try to always be available for them.
Try And Understand Their Reaction To The Divorce
Children may act out and their academic performance may decline. When a child experiences conflict, it creates anxiety and cognitive dissonance in them, often causing them to align with one parent over another to ease their discomfort or turn to outside, unhealthy outlets to express their feelings. Depending on the child’s age, they may experience confusion (common in younger children), anger (common in teenagers), worry, and guilt. Kids might see this as an opportunity to test new boundaries, and without as much of a structured environment, their behavior might get worse. As much as possible, keep things structured in the same way in both households.
Be Civil When Speaking About Your Ex
It’s not healthy for children to have unnecessary conflict in their relationships with their parents, so do your best not to speak negatively about your spouse around your child. Someone could be a lousy spouse but a good parent. You don’t want to deprive your child of a good parent. Kids do better with two loving parents — divorced or married.
If you would like more information about the options that are available for structuring visitation and parenting time in a separation or divorce contacting a family law attorney would be advisable.
Are you going through a divorce or trying to retain custody of your child? Do you need help with Estate Planning? Maybe you need help with something else that involves your family? At Akilah Harris PLLC., we understand that family law cases are uniquely stressful and often take a heavy emotional toll on families. Our family law offices in Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale Flordia offer compassionate and thorough legal counsel to our clients. Consult with us when you need to protect your finances, assets, and time with your child. In these highly personal disputes, you need to rely on an experienced Broward County Attorney who knows how to defend your rights.