Your divorce may be harder on your children than you realize. Children at any age may not understand what is happening. They may be confused or angry. Your kids may even blame themselves for the changes that your family is experiencing.
Supporting your child during a divorce can be especially difficult because you are facing new challenges yourself. However, as a parent, you need to set aside time and make efforts to help your child through this challenging time. You can use the following tips to help with this process.
- Always stay involved in your child’s life.
It is especially important that your child knows that no matter what happens before, during, or after the divorce, you will always be there for him or her. If you are not provided full custody in the separation, you will need to make sometimes significant efforts to stay involved with your child’s life. That may mean sending letters, making phone calls, and asking lots of questions. Your child should always be a priority.
- Try to work together with the other parent.
Fighting in front of the children rarely helps in any situation. Instead, ensure that your children see that you and your spouse can work together to solve issues. This is especially true when those problems involve your child directly. Fighting about the children in front of them often makes children wrongly presume that they did something wrong to cause the conflict.
- Do not talk down about the other parent in front of the child(ren).
Children pick up more of what you are saying than you may realize. When you talk poorly of the other parent, that message is often instilled in your children. You do not want your child to think less of the other parent because of your comments. Sabotaging your child’s relationship with the other parent in this way is unfair to both the child and the parent.
- Listen and encourage children to express their feelings.
It is normal for children to grieve the loss of their family unit in a divorce. You should be there to listen when the child wants to talk about how they are feeling regarding changes they are experiencing. Encouraging them to express their moods can allow your child to work through whatever they are feeling instead of internalizing it. Allow your child to be honest. He or she should be able to express anger, resentment, disappointment, or any other emotion, even when that feeling is directed at you.
- Be patient and understanding.
Children may not understand their feelings. They may act out because they are confused or unsure of how to handle the situation. Being patient is one of the best things you can do for your child under these circumstances.
Being present for your child emotionally, mentally, and physically takes significant time and effort, but it is extremely important. Putting your child first will allow your child to work through the changes in a healthier way. If you need compassionate divorce services in Southern California or help in any other California family law matter, please contact our office today.