Help Your Children During Divorce

5 Ways to Help Your Children During Divorce

How to help your children cope with your divorce.

If you are nervous and anxious about the divorce process and you have some input and some control over the outcome, imagine what it is like for children who have neither.  You can help your children during divorce.  Here are some suggestions.

  1. Reduce traumatic effects. Reassure your children early and often that your divorce is not their fault, that you love them and will always be there for them. Provide as much stability, security and consistency as possible. An anxious child often appreciates a consistent routine, seeing familiar people, going to regularly visited places and dependable bedtimes. Offer your children during divorce choices, whenever possible, to increase their sense of power over their lives. These can include food choices, clothing choices etc.

  2. Don’t expose your kids to marital conflict. Experts say the amount of conflict the child witnesses during and immediately after divorce is a critical factor for his or her adjustment. One of the greatest gifts that two parents can give their child is to communicate with each other in civil terms. Don’t use your children as messengers in parental communications as in “Tell your father he’s late with his child support payment”. Resist all urges to “defend” yourself or “justify” your position in the divorce! I CAN HELP YOU WITH A PLAN TO MAKE THIS WORK.

  3. Allow your children during divorce to communicate openly without talking about the adult issues that are involved in a divorce. Don’t ask children to take sides or pick parents. Provide comfort and reassure them that they will be loved, continued to be cared for and safe. Be sure to remember they are children and not adults and should be shielded from adult choices and stress.

  4. Do not criticize your spouse in front of your child or on the phone. Remember that your spouse is still your child’s parent; when you criticize your spouse, whether you mean it or not, you’re also criticizing your child indirectly. This damages their self-esteem.

  5. Find support for yourself and your children during divorce. It takes a village. Reach out and ask for help from friends, neighbors, family members, religious support groups, teachers, school counselors and therapists. Educators should be informed when parents are separating or divorcing. They can provide valuable support during the many hours your child is in school. Free assistance is also available through Divorce Care class offered by many area churches and divorce support groups for children offered by Williamson County Schools. Experts say that it takes about two years for children to adjust to the changes from divorce.

Helping children cope with divorce is important because kids model future behavior on current experiences. Whether we like it or not, our children watch everything we do, and tend to remember for a long time. Set a good example. Please give me a call.  Part of what we work out together is how to address divorce and your children. It is so important to do this right.  I have over 28 years of experience.  I am an Attorney for Children. My children were 1 and 5 when my ex-Husband and I divorced.  The right attorney allows you to make informed choices and secure your future and your children’s future. Don’t just get divorce.  Get a smart divorce.