Divorce can be hard on everyone, but it can be especially difficult for children to process. They do not have the same coping skills that adults have. It's up to the parents to do all they can to protect their children during the various stages of a divorce. Each situation is unique, but there are many things parents can do to help their children through divorce.
Treat Your Former Spouse With Respect
It's easy to want to lash out at your ex during a divorce, especially when tensions are high and there is a lot is at stake. Doing so in front of the children, however, can cause lasting damage. Your child may agree with you and end up turning on their other parent, or the situation can backfire on you and they can end up resenting you for how you've treated your ex.
Keep children out of adult conversations whenever possible. If they ask for an update on the divorce, only tell them what they absolutely need to know. Reassure them that both you and your former spouse are still their parents and that you both love them unconditionally.
Speak to Them
Pay close attention to how your children are doing during the divorce. Ask them how they are doing and let them express their thoughts and feelings, and answer any questions they may have. At this time, your children are most likely terrified about the future, but being open with them can ease some of their concerns.
Don’t be upset if your children are angry with you. It’s a lot for a child to deal with the emotional trauma of their parent’s splitting up. Reacting negatively towards them will only make them feel as if their emotions are invalid.
Get Them Help When They Need It
There are many emotions that come along with a divorce -- anger, resentment, confusion, sadness, uncertainty. It's a lot even for adults to handle, but for children, it can cause long-term emotional effects.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional if it seems like your children are not coping well. Having a third party can be incredibly beneficial in ensuring your child has the proper resources they need to get through this time. Most importantly, let your children know that it's okay to feel their emotions and that there's nothing wrong with needing to talk about them.
At Parchman Law Group, we want to help you and your children navigate the divorce process. Call us today at (713) 364-0777 to schedule a consultation.