For parents who are going through a divorce often their biggest concern is the children. Parents may even have a conversation about, should we stay together for the children. When divorce is the best option for both couples parents will begin to worry about how their divorce will affect the children. It’s definitely tricky. Some children bounce back sooner than others, and some children have a way more difficult time. There is no right or wrong way to parent children through a divorce because only a parent knows their child best. However, it’s helpful to have some important tips to help guide children through divorce.
Helpful Tips to Guide Your Children Through Divorce
There are steps that parents can take to help the psychological and emotional effects the divorce could have on their children. These parenting strategies and tips can be extremely helpful in guiding children through a divorce and helping them to adjust to major life changes.
The first year
The first year after the divorce is the hardest for your children. This is where the biggest adjustment happens and the biggest changes are made. Children may tend to feel like their world was turned upside down. During this time children are likely to experience distress, anger, anxiety, and disbelief. It’s important that during the first year both parents:
- Have open communication with your children
- Make time for your children
- Be mindful of their needs, especially their emotions
- Keep to a new routine or schedule that works for your family
- Create new traditions and activities that your children would enjoy
- Do not be afraid to seek therapy for your child
Divorce definitely does affect children at different ages. This article explains, How Divorcing Can Affecting Children at Different Ages. However, only a small percentage of children experience life-long psychological effects after a parent’s divorce.
How to help children adjust to divorce
Don’t put children in the middle
No matter the age of your children, it’s never a good idea to put your children in the middle. Even a simple thing as giving your child a message to the other parent can cause your child stress. It’s important that you keep all communication regarding parenting between you and your ex-spouse.
Any kind of tension in a household can really affect children. This kind of stress can often be linked to behavioral problems. Coming to a place to be able to peacefully co-parent can greatly increase the chances of your child adjusting to divorce. If you are unable to peacefully co-parent it is best to seek mediation or family therapy to help you both come to an agreement on how to co-parent together. Your Texas family law attorney can also help you and provide you with outside resources in order to peacefully co-parent.
Have a healthy relationship with your children
It is really important to maintain a healthy and open relationship with your child. Let them know that you are always available to listen to their concerns or feelings. That your child can come to you with any questions they may have, and you are always there to listen to them. Setting this open communication early on with your children can lead to years of success in having an honest and open relationship with your child.
Empowering you children
As a parent, you want to give your children the tools to be able to be successful with changes that happen in their life. Even though divorce is difficult for the entire family you can give them positive reinforcements and encouragement that your child has the mental strength and support to work through these uncertain times. You can show your children a healthy way to maintain their stress, emotions, and behaviors
Be consistent in your discipline
Children thrive on rules, expectations, and routines. Even though your family is going through a difficult time, you should absolutely continue to discipline and follow through with rules and consequences.
Help your children to feel safe
The feeling of change or possible abandonment can lead to extreme anxiety in children. It’s important for both parents to make their children feel loved, supported, and secure. This is why having a healthy relationship and open communication with your children is so important.
Education and professional help
Parents have to remember that it is okay to ask for help, it’s okay to look for outside support, and look for additional resources that can help your family transition through a divorce. Anything to help reduce the stress and anxiety with yourself and your child is a positive step for the future of your family.
Working with Your Texas Family Law Attorney
It’s important that you choose an attorney specializing in family law in Texas who can help to guide you and provide any additional support or any resources you may need. Getting the support you need will help you to become a better parent as you guide your children through your divorce.