Experienced divorce attorneys know the process can be one of the most challenging life experiences. Along with emotional distress, divorce can drain your time, money, and energy. The process can become significantly more complex when children are involved.
We recently explored the potential health risks of a poorly handled divorce. The way you help your kids cope throughout the process is equally important for their mental health. No matter where you are in your divorce timeline, here are key ways to help your kids cope.
Show You Still Love Them. Both parents need to demonstrate that their love and support for their children is unwavering. Putting forth more of an effort showing and fostering love for your children will help prevent them from feeling at fault for the divorce. Self-esteem can be severely impacted for growing children that feel they have turned their parents against each other.
Keep Your Fights Private. If children consistently see their parents on the same page, even during the divorce, it will help them understand that both parents will continue to support and love them. Do your best to shield them from your hurt and animosity and remember that your feelings about your spouse are completely separate from your love for your children.
Share what is Appropriate. You and your spouse should mutually decide what is appropriate to share with your children and stick to that plan. Choosing how much, and what information to share will vary from family to family; your attorney can help provide useful insight from their experience. Once you have established what you intend on sharing, make sure communication is clear on all matters that directly impact your children.
Stability and Support. Helping your children maintain a continued feeling of routine and stability is important. Consistency in their daily routine, with support from both parents, will help them adjust to other changes. In addition to maintaining routine, you and your spouse will want to work together to establish and enforce consistent rules no matter in whose house the children are visiting.
It is Okay to Seek Help. Sometimes, seeking professional help with your child may be unavoidable and there is nothing wrong with utilizing your mental health resources. Take note of any changes in your children’s behavior over time. Significant changes in their personality, attitude, sleep schedule, or overall behavior could signal a more deeply-rooted problem that may require professional intervention.
If you are going through a divorce, people from all areas of your life will have advice and tips to help you and your children through the process. It is important to remember that you know your children, and they will benefit from the support of both parents. We have years of experience working with families in West Michigan through traditional and Collaborative divorces that help all parties involved. If you want to learn more about how we can help your family, email us today!