In a divorce, it can be children who suffer the most. The upheaval that divorce causes can have a lasting effect on children’s lives, so it’s important for parents to try and minimize the impact of divorce on their children.
Every member of a family struggles to get through a divorce. It’s not just the parents who have a hard time adjusting to the new situation. To ensure that your children adapt to their new family dynamics during and after a divorce, there are several actions you can take.
Start by telling your children the truth about your divorce. Children need to understand that their parents’ decision is final and is not something that is up for debate. When explaining divorce to children, you will want to consider their age. Younger children may not need as many details as older children will require. You should, though, encourage questions from your kids about your divorce. Open the communication lines early, so they can tell you about their feelings now and in the future.
When explaining divorce to your children, you will need to make it clear that the divorce was not their fault. All too often, children end up believing that their parents have split up because of something they have done.
You should make sure to tell your children about upcoming events or life changes they will experience as a result of the divorce. Telling your children about these events, activities, and schedules earlier rather than later will allow them to adjust to these changes more smoothly.
Working with the other parent to set consistent rules is also important during a divorce. The goal should be consistency, and parents should work together to enforce rules that the kids have been expected to follow all along. This will be particularly important if children begin to act out as a result of the divorce. If children act out by misbehaving, parents should seek to validate their feelings first. Your children’s bad behavior may be a result of the anger, sadness, and confusion they feel regarding the divorce.
One of the most important things you can do during a divorce is spend quality time with your children as often as possible. This means you should allow for no distractions when you are devoting time to your family. Spending this quality time with your children can help them through many of the issues the divorce might cause.
A family law attorney can offer you a wide-range of advice on minimizing the impact of a divorce on children.