Divorce is a painful experience for a family. However, it’s easy for couples to get caught up in their own pain, anger and other emotions without realizing what their children are experiencing. The divorce of their parents is a defining time for children. For too many, it impacts their own relationships in adulthood.
When divorcing couples picture the end of the proceedings and what kind of relationship they ultimately want with their estranged spouse, they also need to help ensure that their relationship with their children is strong. So, what can you do to help your children through this time and minimize the negative effects on their lives, both now and in the future?
Make sure they know that they are not to blame for the divorce. You may assume they realize that or feel you only need to tell them once. However, constant, unambiguous reassurance is essential.
Don’t speak negatively about your spouse. This can be truly difficult sometimes, but it will only cause your children pain and perhaps resentment towards you. Moreover, it’s also important to say positive things about him or her.
Keep your children’s lives as close to normal as possible. A routine can be very comforting in a time of upheaval. However, within that routine, it’s also important to make kids feel like they have some control over their lives. Let them make choices that are appropriate for them, such as letting them decide whether to do their homework or household chores first.
Spend extra time with your kids. Older ones may want to talk, while young children may just want to snuggle. Don’t forget to have fun with them, even if you don’t feel like it. Create good memories amidst this unhappy time.
Finally, when discussing the divorce and the future with your children, try to do it as a couple. Let them know that both of you are united in caring for them, even though you will no longer be together.
If you need assistance in helping your children through a divorce, an experienced Texas divorce attorney can help guide you to resources in the Austin area. Having a strong legal team behind you is essential, but so is having a support system behind you and your family.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Remember, Your Children Are Going Through This Divorce Too” Michelle Crosby, May. 06, 2014