No matter their age, each child is affected by divorce. While the long-term effects of divorce can hurt a child, it is important to be considerate of your child’s feelings and how they are being impacted by the changes happening around them. Helping your children cope with the short-term effects of divorce can make it easier for them to understand why this is happening and prevent them from being too affected by the long-term effects in the future.
· Be very honest and open with your child about what is happening. If a child does not understand the situation fully, they might feel guilty or responsible for the divorce. Explain to them what is happening and why, without putting blame on the other parent or talking bad about them. Do not pressure your child to form opinions about your spouse or take sides.
· See the divorce from your child’s point of view. Acknowledge that they are experiencing many new feelings and may not know how to react or deal with them. Listen and be patient with your child when they express these feelings to you, and work with them on positive ways to deal with the confusion around them, such as keeping busy with school or activities such as sports or other hobbies.
· Despite going through a divorce, both parents must work together to help their child or children cope. Let them know that even though there are circumstantial changes happening in the family, they can still have healthy relationships with each parent. Reassure them that they are still loved equally by each of you. Help them prepare for upcoming changes, such as one parent moving somewhere else or a certain visitation schedule that is a result of the separation. It is better that they have a clear understanding of future changes so they are not caught off guard.
· Keep discussions between you and your spouse private. Your child does not need to be a messenger between the two of you, nor do they need to be involved in your fights. Work hard to get along with each other when you are around your children, and try your best to agree or compromise on matters that involve them.
· The well being of your children should be your top priority. It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of the divorce, but it is most important that your child is not neglected in the process. Stay involved with what is going on in your child’s life outside of the divorce: school, friends, sports, etc.
The advice of a divorce attorney can provide you with the guidance you need to make the best decisions for you and your family during a divorce. Keep your child’s well being a priority by seeking the assistance of a divorce attorney that will help you make the best decisions for visitation, child support, and custody.