Divorce is a stressful and emotionally trying time for any family, but the impact on children is especially great. Children may take on emotions of guilt or fear as they face the reality of you and your spouse’s divorce, and the psychological impact can affect them in significant ways.
As a parent, you want to ensure that your children come through the divorce in an emotionally healthy way. Here are three ways you can help your kids as you move through separation and divorce.
1. Allow your children to express their feelings
Because you are emotionally involved in the process and it is traumatic for you, your child’s feelings may not always be at the front and center of your attention. Although it is critically important that you care for yourself in divorce so that you can care for your children, it is also important that you give your children a sounding board to let them vent their feelings, frustrations and fears.
2. Seek collaborative solutions
Although not all couples are prime candidates for a divorce mediation, too many couples automatically assume that all divorces have to go through a courtroom litigation. The truth is that divorce mediation and collaborative divorce solutions are a great way to keep the focus on solutions that are in the best interests of your family. Your family law attorney can help you reach a collaborative agreement in your divorce and negotiate parameters such as child custody, so you can keep the decisions in your family’s hands rather than up to a judge.
3. Put your children’s best interests first
It is all too easy for parents to lose sight of how their decisions impact their children. Since divorce is such a traumatic upheaval in your personal life, you may neglect to think about how your children are perceiving the process. When you put your children’s best interests first, your decisions come from a place that focuses on your family’s well-being, and this will help you move forward more smoothly in the long run.