Helping Your Child Through The Divorce

Posted on July 28th, 2020 in Divorce

When we talk about divorce, we often focus on the financial and emotional ramifications it has on the separating couple. However, one of the biggest victims in a divorce are children who are involved. While we discuss the importance of child custody plans and support payments, knowing the emotional toll a divorce can have on your children is more important than any dollar amount attached to the separation. At Kalinoski Law Offices P.C., we want to keep the family unit intact as much as we can, even if that means helping divorced couples navigate co-parenting. Here are some tips to guide you through helping your child through the divorce process.

Emotional Implications on Children

Statistically, children of divorce are more likely to develop psychological problems when compared to children who lose a parent to death. And, of those children who get married, they are 35% more likely to have a divorce of their own.

While this may not be your first thought when you and your spouse decide to split, it’s an important reality to face–together. 

The emotional implications on children of divorce are real and knowing how to navigate them will be critical to not only the success of the divorce but the stability of the family unit.

At the most basic level, you should:

  • Not have discussions, disagreements, and concerns about the divorce in front of the kids.
  • Keep a routine for the kids as much as possible.
  • Keep your kids out of the negativity.
  • Not alienate your ex from the kids.

But how can you help your kids through the earliest stages of a divorce?

  • Break the news together. As soon as the decision has been made final, you and your ex need to discuss how and when you will tell your kids. Keep it neutral and positive. Kids can catch on to tension quickly, so practice what you want to say and don’t leave the conversation with unanswered questions.
  • Answer questions and handle the emotions that come with them. Likely, your kids will be upset, but older children may already know something is going on. Be open to the questions you’ll likely be faced with, and answer them honestly. Your kids may be angry or even feel guilty for your separation. It’s important to make sure your kids, no matter their age, know it has nothing to do with them.
  • If there was infidelity or wrongdoing, don’t let that out. If someone was unfaithful in the marriage, it may be the burning point of contention. But your kids do not need to know of your resentment or feelings of anger. Just handle their questions diplomatically and neutrally.
  • Help them cope. The divorce will be a lot for you, but for children, it’s even harder. Help them navigate their feelings, be a good listener, and validate their feelings of sadness and loneliness. If your kids are young and they are having a hard time adjusting to a parent not being at home, offer to call the parent so they can talk, take them on a walk, or give them the opportunity to make something to give to your ex. Kids often need to be constructive to work through their feelings. Give them the opportunity to do so.
  • Keep yourself healthy and positive, the kids will likely be better off. With so many new changes before you, taking care of yourself or taking a moment to yourself may seem impossible. But getting adequate rest, keeping your emotions in check, and being consistent will help your kids adjust to the separation much better.

Remember, this is new and emotionally draining for everyone involved. Keep the drama, fights, and gossip for the private time between you and your ex, therapist, or friend. Your kids need to know that even though things will look different at home, you and your ex are still there for them no matter what.

Divorce is painful. But helping your kids navigate through it is a critical part of the process.

Navigating Divorce with Children: Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.

Divorce isn’t easy. But you have to keep it together for your kids. If you and your ex are in need of mediation, child custody modifications, or need to begin the divorce process, Kalinoski Law Offices is here for you. Keeping your family unified even after the divorce is our goal for you and your children. Contact us today for a free consultation of your Scranton divorce.

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