At Audu Law Firm, our Sugar Land divorce attorney has handled many cases involving children. While the divorce process is never easy for kids, there are steps you can take to help them handle it in a healthy way. Remember that divorce is tough on adults too, so it’s best to contact a therapist or counselor if you are struggling to keep your emotions in check.
1. KEEP THINGS AS NORMAL AS POSSIBLE
While it’s easier said than done, you should try to keep life as normal as possible for your child. This means that you need to continue to set boundaries for your children. Although it can be very tempting to spoil your child or “go easy” on them due to the stress of the divorce, maintaining consistency and structure will better serve them in the long run.
2. DON’T BAD-MOUTH YOUR EX
Watching parents fight is frequently cited as one of the most damaging aspects of a divorce for children. Speaking ill of your ex in front of your child falls into the same category. The divorce process is tough enough for children to wrap their heads around, without having to worry about choosing one parent over another. Bad-mouthing your ex will only serve to confuse and frustrate your child, and can lead to them lashing out or becoming emotionally withdrawn.
3. LISTEN & ANSWER YOUR CHILD’S QUESTIONS
Divorce can be a very confusing concept to a child, and in many ways, it can completely shake up their world. With that in mind, it’s natural for them to have a lot of questions and feelings. Take the time to sit with your child and listen to their thoughts and emotions, encouraging them to speak openly and honestly. Help them ask questions they can’t find the words for, and reassure them that it’s okay for them to be upset or angry. It can be very helpful to read an age-appropriate book on divorce together and discuss it afterward.
4. DON’T USE YOUR CHILD AS A THERAPIST
As stressful as divorce can be for children, it can be just as tough for adults. Many parents will unburden themselves on their child, using them as a sounding board to vent frustrations and anger. In many cases, you may not even realize how much you are venting to your child. The best thing you can do to deal with pent up stress and emotions is to seek help from a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you manage these feelings in a healthy way.
5. ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO LOVE BOTH PARENTS
This goes hand-in-hand with not speaking ill of your ex and is so important that it warrants its own section. It is very natural for there to be a lot of hostility between you and your ex after a divorce, but your child still wants to have a strong relationship with both parents. If you speak ill of your ex in front of your child or try to use them to get information on your ex, they will sense the tension and may feel guilty about enjoying their time spent with another parent. Encouraging your child to love both parents without reservation will help them acclimate to life after divorce, and can help them feel more confident and secure.
Considering divorce? Call our Sugar Land divorce lawyer today at (832) 789-8442 for your case evaluation.