How to ensure children’s well-being in divorce
Too many kids experience the trauma of divorce every year. How they react to it depends on many factors, like their personality, age, and other circumstances surrounding divorce. A divorce will inevitably affect the kids. They will be shocked, sad, frustrated, angry, or worried, and it is normal. However, they can come out of the experience with a better understanding and become more flexible.
Orange County family law lawyers advise parents can help lessen the stress on their kids by adopting some simple habits;
- They must keep their conflict private. Do not have heated discussions, screaming matches or legal talk in front of the kids.
- Do not allow your personal conflict to disrupt the kids’ lives. Let them continue with their daily routines.
- Do not let personal conflict influence your interaction with the children. Kids are susceptible to the general mood and will be affected if you negatively change your behavior with them.
- Both parents deserve to be involved in their children’s lives. Do not hinder the other parent from having a positive interaction with the kids.
Tips to help kids cope with a divorce
Many kids mourn the dissolution of their family. They miss the presence of both the parents and a happy home. That’s why it is common for most kids to hold on to the hope that their parents may get together again someday and they will become happy family.
You must clearly tell them that your separation is final. It may take some time, but they will come to accept the new situation. Employ the following strategies to help your kids cope with the trauma of divorce;
- Be honest with the kids and ask them to be honest in turn. Let them know their feelings are important to you, and you will not be dismissive of them.
- Help them understand their feelings. Kids affected by divorce are a mess of emotions. Help them figure out if they feel sad, anger or guilt. Be a good listener and hear what they have to say, even if it is difficult to hear.
- Recognize their feelings. Let them vent their anger or sadness instead of bottling it all up. Once they have got it out of their system, offer ways to make it better in the future.
- Offer them your support. Ask the kids what’ll make them feel better and give in to a reasonable degree. If they want to talk with daddy on the phone or draw a picture for mommy, let them.
- Remain healthy. Divorce brings a lot of stress to the whole family, especially the divorcing couple. Custody, alimony, and finances, etc.; these issues increase the stress even more. But the fact remains, you must hold on for the kids. They must not see you break from the stress. Eat and rest normally. If not for yourself, then do it for your kids.
- Keep the details private. Discuss things with your friends, family or lawyer away from the kids. Keep the interactions as civil as possible, especially when kids are near. Take the high road instead of name-calling. It is especially important in an ‘at-fault’ divorce involving infidelity or something equally hurtful.
- Get help. Find other people who have gone through similar circumstances and ask them to share their experiences. Getting help for yourself will set a good example for your kids too. Talk to a therapist if you must. Don’t vent your emotions to your kids, no matter how tempting it is. Tell your kids you are touched by their concern, but only do the venting to friends, family, or your therapist.