All too often parents going through a divorce don't realize how their separation is impacting their child or children. When you and your spouse are going through a divorce it's easy to get caught up and focus all of your attention on the proceedings. Below we talk about some of the ways to help your child cope with you and your spouses divorce.
1. Make it Very Clear That The Child/Children Are Loved First and Foremost
If a parent suddenly becomes distant or is no longer present as much as they once were, the child or children naturally believe it is because they did something wrong or are not loved as much or at all.
2. Do not Make It Look Better Than It Is
If you start off the divorce by making up excuses for or blaming the other parent, it will make it harder for the child to voice their concerns. It is very important that you not include them in conversations surrounding important decisions in the divorce but rather just be honest and allowing the child to voice how they feel in regards to visitation, phone calls, anything related to their relationship with the opposite party.
3. Meet To Setup An Alternative Arrangement
In the case that the ex-spouse is unable to make a visitation, it is important that there be a backup method or arrangement in place. If they are unable to make it one weekend, opt to trade weekends. This allows for the ex-spouse to maintain their set amount of visits with the child or children without bringing up feelings of resentment or abandonment.
4. Make Communication A Priority
Allow the child or children involved in the divorce to speak their minds without causing drama or stress within the divorce. Allow for them to speak about their disappointments and wishes for what they want to see when the divorce is finalized. It is best that they know they are allowed to speak concerns than to keep their feelings bottled up and chancing that they do something harmful, because they are unable to communicate with either parent.
5. You Should Not Fight In Front Of The Children No Matter What
You should always be cautious about what is said in front of the children. Always make sure to excuse yourself should an argument become heated. Send the kids out of the room when a conversation occurs to keep them out of conversations that they should not be involved in. The divorce will affect them but keep it to a minimum to avoid problems later on.
6. Keep It Peaceful
When you are dropping off children for visits or any meeting or arrangement involving the kids, make sure that things are done peacefully and with minimum hassles to avoid problems later on. This helps to keep children out of a fearful situation or a situation where they feel the need to side with one parent over another.
7. Always Walk Away With A Smile
Always make sure your kids see you smile when ending a phone conversation or when finishing up a visit face to face with your ex. This helps to keep their stress level to a minimum and avoid conflict later on. They naturally take their cues from you, and you want them to feel positively about each parent - regardless of your own feelings.
8. Important Welcome Home Plans
Always make sure that when the children return home, that they know how much they were missed or how happy you are to see them. This allows for them to feel important and loved when they are away at the other parent's home for a visit or a holiday.
For more information visit: www.whfamilylaw.com/divorce