If you are a parent, one of your primary concerns during any painful event is how it can affect your children. This can undoubtedly be the case if you are getting a divorce.
Thankfully, there are steps parents can take to help their children navigate divorce and the changes that go along with it.
Stay out of court
No child wants to see their parents embroiled in a bitter, contentious legal battle. Litigation can be stressful, take a long time and be more expensive to litigate a divorce, all of which can add to the anxiety of an already upsetting process. Children pick up on this more than parents may think.
As such, it can be wise for Texas parents to try and resolve divorce-related matters outside of court through measures like mediation, which can be faster and more cooperative.
Keep communication civil
Emotions run high during a divorce. However, parents would be wise to keep those emotions – particularly the negative emotions – in check in front of children.
Don’t fight in front of the kids; consider keeping your exchanges in writing. Respect that you are both still parents and communicate accordingly to shield your child from avoidable guilt, anger and stress.
Talk to them
Have age-appropriate discussions with your kids about the divorce. Talk to them about what is happening; explain that the divorce is not their fault; reassure them that you still love them.
It is also crucial to be available and open to their questions. Ask about how they are feeling and help them process their emotions.
Find ways to prioritize consistency
To make this time a little easier, parents can prioritize consistency. Possible solutions might include keeping the children in the same home, maintaining their schedules in the same way, or enforcing the same rules and expectations that were in place before the divorce.
Change is inevitable during a divorce, but minimizing these changes or making them more gradual can make it easier for a child to cope.
Ask for help
Neither you nor your child needs to go through a divorce alone. You can get help from an attorney, financial professionals and mediators who are familiar with this process and can provide valuable guidance. Your children can get help by speaking with counselors, family members and trusted friends.
Divorce is difficult, but these suggestions can make it easier for your children – and yourself.