By the time you make the decision to get divorced, your children have likely been aware of your marital conflict for quite some time. Kids have a special intuition when it comes to the emotional state of their parents. Tension and anger are difficult to hide, even if you try your best. Although the period of time leading up to divorce (and the divorce itself) can be difficult for your young ones, kids are remarkably resilient. They can even grow from the experience. The key component to your child’s well-being is a healthy approach to your divorce. Below is a list of tips to help you make this challenging time as painless as possible for your children. The following advice may even help you and your spouse feel better about the entire process.
Allow your children to feel and express their emotions.
They may feel angry, guilty, sad, or confused. It’s all too common for parents to react to these emotions with guilt. Unfortunately, when a divorcing parent feels guilty, that feeling may turn into anger and resentment toward the other parent for “causing” the feeling in the first place. The child’s natural, healthy emotions may have the unintended consequence of causing further conflict between the divorcing parents. Recognize that your child’s emotions are natural and should be kept separate from any disputes with your spouse. Don’t tell your children not to feel sad or angry. Instead, validate their feelings by saying something such as, “I understand that you’re angry. You have a right to be angry. Just know that we love you and we will get through this.”
Address behavioral changes.
Tantrums, bedwetting, and night terrors may get worse in younger children, while older children may act out, get into trouble at school, or even with the law. Even behaviors as seemingly insignificant as nail biting can indicate an underlying problem. Be patient with your child. If the behavioral changes are not harming your child or anyone else, just acknowledge that you’ve noticed and are there if your child wants to talk about it. However, if behavioral problems become harmful, seek professional help from a child psychologist or school counselor.
Make sure your child knows that he or she is loved, no matter what.
Young children may be especially concerned that one parent will stop loving them once the divorce occurs. The best way to counteract this fear is for both parents to show consistent and unconditional love to their child(ren). Additionally, it is crucial for parents to avoid saying negative things about each other in front of the children. Even if you no longer love (or even like) your spouse, he or she is still a parent to your child. Your child likely loves both of you, and ex-bashing can only serve to confuse your child and cause feelings of anger, guilt, and resentment.
De Castroverde Law Group: Las Vegas’ Family Law Attorneys
At De Castroverde Law Group, we have helped countless parents navigate even the most difficult divorce processes. When children are involved in high-conflict divorces, emotions can be especially overwhelming for one or both parents. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Children are resilient. Even if your divorce is far from amicable, children are typically okay if they continue to feel loved by both parents and feel safe in their home(s). At De Castroverde Law Group, we have over 20 years of experience helping families work through divorce, custody, and child support issues. It is our job to make this complicated process as smooth, painless, and cost effective as possible. Contact De Castroverde Law Group today for a free consultation.