Quite often it is the children that bear the burden of a divorce. It can be confusing for them and they may find themselves stuck in a situation where they feel they are forced to take sides or simply feeling fearful about their future.
It is crucial for divorcing spouses to minimize the impact of a divorce on their children. Here are some tips on the best ways to achieve this:
1. Avoid contentious custody battles
Children who have to go through contentious custody battles and witness public arguments, hostility between the spouses and feeling that they are caught in the middle are far more likely to experience negative psychological consequences such as feelings of guilt, rage, low self esteem all the way to high risk behavior in their later years.
2. Avoid being negative when speaking about your spouse
It may be a great way for you to release your pent up anger and get back at your spouse that you feel has wronged you, but this is not something that you should be directing towards your children.
The negative feelings that you project onto them could damage them mentally and psychologically as well as possibly making them resent you in the future for standing in the way of their relationship with one of their parents. If you need to vent, see a counselor or therapist - this is not what children are for.
3. Don't Over Share
Be careful not to over share information regarding the divorce and blaming your ex spouse. Of course children do need to have some sort of explanation and understanding but it is best to avoid getting into the details wherever possible.
4. Helping them Deal with Change
Do whatever is required to helping children cope with divorce and assist your children with the changes that will take place. It is well known that children do not always cope well with change and need a lot of love and support during this time. Ensure that their environment is consistent, stable and that they feel safe about their future.
Make sure that they understand that even though their parents are going to be separating, they will still remain in their lives and that they will not be neglected.
Try to keep things as normal and stable as possible and minimize radical changes like big moves, changing schools and limited visitation rights. It is unfair on the children in the long run and can have a harmful psychological impact on them.
Don't be selfish and overrun by your emotions - put the needs of your children first before doing something to spite your spouse or engaging in aggressive arguments with your spouse or using the children as a bargaining tool.
Look out for tomorrow's post for more information about helping children cope with divorce
If you are about to get a divorce and are looking for an attorney that is highly experienced, dedicated and sensitive to children's issues, contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Perskin today.