November 09, 2022
Ending your marriage can be difficult for adults, even in the best of circumstances. However, for kids, divorce can be even more upsetting. Kids of all ages can benefit from guidance from parents who take steps to protect their mental health during and after a divorce. If you are about to go through a divorce, you can get some much-needed guidance from our team at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group. Here are some tips to help you navigate parenting through divorce.
When you are involved in a contentious divorce in Illinois, it can be hard to keep from talking about it. You want to avoid making negative comments about your spouse to your children. Remember that your kids need both parents and are more likely to benefit when they have a good relationship with each of their parents. Make it a rule not to say anything negative to the kids, and do not let them overhear you discussing divorce disputes.
Too often, kids begin to feel that they are to blame for their parent’s divorce. They may also come to feel resentment toward one parent when the other says they are to blame for the marriage ending. To reduce the impact of blame, present the divorce as a unified decision, even if it was not. Make sure that you tell your kids they are not the reason for the divorce and provide honest explanations based on the child’s age.
Communication with your former spouse may be difficult, but it can be essential to providing a stable environment for your kids. Talking to your spouse will give you a united front and give your children a stable foundation. When you and your former spouse can successfully talk to each other, it promotes open discussions with your children and can assist them in talking about their fears and other issues that emerge due to divorce.
Kids are very adaptable, but they thrive best in consistent situations. Create habits that will help keep them engaged and focused on the family’s new normal. For example, set specific visitation days and times so that children know what to expect. Make new routines that give the entire family a feeling of calm and order. When kids have consistency in their lives, they will adapt to the family changes more quickly and easily. It is important to come to an understanding with your spouse when it comes to custody, visitation, and parental responsibilities.
Every child reacts to divorce differently. The key to helping a child through the situation is to pay attention to their needs and provide positive input. You need to be able to help your child discuss their feelings without any expectations. Validate what your child feels and remember that their feelings may not always correspond to what you think they should. Continue to assess needs as time goes on since it can take some time to work through emotions.
Family therapy or counseling is an option that can be beneficial for both adults and children. Kids may be able to better express their feelings with help from a professional. As a parent, you will also learn how to better handle the challenges that can arise and how you can handle them in a way that protects your child’s mental health. Work together with your ex to provide a stable yet separate parenting arrangement going forward. You can also get confidential assistance with a consultation with the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group.