Tips for Helping Kids Thrive Through Divorce
If you are a parent, the well-being of your children is likely one of your top concerns regarding your divorce. Even if you have read the research and know that children with divorced parents fare no better and no worse than kids whose parents are not divorced, it can be difficult to remember that if you notice or think that you see that your divorce is affecting your child in some way. It is essential that you bear in mind that the very fact that you are thinking about how your divorce could have an impact on your children shows how much you care about meeting their needs. The following suggestions can help you continue to be the great parent that you are, a steady source of love, support, comfort, and reassurance, both during and after your divorce:
Keep as many things consistent as you possibly can. Children crave stability, and if they can remain in the same school that they were attending before the divorce and possibly even in the same house at least some of the time, they are likely to adjust better to the things in their life that are changing, like spending some of their time with one parent and some with the other.
Coach them on how to deal with attempts by others to talk with them about adult issues. Often, well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people ask kids questions about their parents’ divorces. This burdens the children, who should never feel pressured to deal with the adult concerns of a divorce. Teach them to respond politely yet firmly, by saying things like “I don’t know,” or “You’ll need to ask my mom and dad about that.” If your child tells you that people have approached them and have tried to discuss issues regarding your divorce with them, talk to those people and let them know that you and your children’s other parent are consciously choosing not to involve the children in the details of your divorce. Ask them to respect that boundary in communicating with your kids.
Make sure that you give your children plenty of attention. You don’t need to plan exciting adventures or do anything extravagant. Your presence is what your kids need most, and being present with them regularly helps them feel safe and connected with you despite the frequent transitions in their day to day lives. By the same token, make sure that their other parent has ample time with the children because children need to maintain close relationships with both parents whenever possible.
Plan ahead for how you will handle behavioral issues or emotional problems. Search out referrals or recommendations for therapists from friends and people that you trust so that you’ll know who to turn to when you need some guidance. It is also a good idea to talk with a family therapist on your own, to learn about what kinds of issues may arise. Preparedness in this area can help you, and your children’s other parent handle any problems that occur in a loving and supportive way.
Divorcing parents often worry about how their divorce will affect their children. Learning how to support your children through your divorce can have an enormous positive impact on their lives.
If you have questions about divorce in Wichita, call McDowell Chartered today, at (316) 633-4322 to arrange a consultation with Kansas Divorce Law Attorney Thomas McDowell,