One of the most difficult things that a child can go through is the divorce of their parents. This event will rock just about every aspect of their life, and often in a very negative way. If divorce can’t be avoided, it is important for both parents to make a strong effort to be there for their children during and after this challenging experience. The following are some real, practical things that parents can do to help their children remain mentally and physically strong and healthy.
Work on Consistency
A divorce is going to change just about everything about your child’s life. To help contract this change, work on finding ways to introduce consistency back into their life. Sticking to schedules, making new traditions, and smothering them with love and affection are great places to start building a stable foundation for their lives. Remember, just as you are trying to do this for your children, make sure you support any efforts that your ex is making on this front as well.
Encourage a Positive Relationship with Your Ex
While you likely harbor some resentment (or outright hatred) toward your ex, don’t let this pass on to your children. Your kids have the right to a healthy relationship with both parents (unless there is abuse or some other extenuating circumstance). Do everything you can to encourage your kids to have a healthy and loving relationship with your ex, and never talk bad about them anywhere that your children will ever hear or see (including social media!).
Be Honest (In an Age Appropriate Way)
Your kids may feel like they have been deceived after a divorce because they likely assumed that their parents would be together forever. Work on rebuilding that trust by always being honest with your kids, especially in the initial weeks after breaking the news of a divorce. Answer their questions in an age-appropriate, yet always truthful, way.
Find a Good Therapist
While parents can do a lot for kids, there are many situations where a professional can offer important help. After a divorce, children should be encouraged to talk to a therapist who has experience in helping them work through the feelings and experiences that they are faced with. This can give them a safe and comfortable place to adjust to their new circumstances.
Find What Works for You & Your Children
The above options are good advice, and there are hundreds of books, blog posts, and studies written on this topic, all of which can be very valuable. When the rubber really hits the road, however, it is important to remember that your children are unique, and your situation is unique. Listen to good advice, but then implement it (or ignore it) in such a way as to benefit your children the most. When it comes right down to it, nobody knows your children better than you, so put in the time and effort needed to find what you can do to help your children emerge from this difficult situation in a strong and healthy way. If you need help with a Texas family law issue, please don’t hesitate to call our firm at (832) 301-3636 today!