When children are involved in a divorce, the impact is no longer limited to two partners. The shockwaves of change are bound to reach your young ones, meaning there’s a certain touch of preparation necessary to ensure a smooth transition into separation. It becomes a family divorce. In other words, it’s the parent’s job to support their children by being open to their feelings, keeping up on daily routines, and generally keeping a close eye on any behavioral change throughout.
Help Your Children Adapt to Change
It’s common for children, even young adults, to project mixed feelings about their parents’ divorce. It’s a major family change, after all, so it’s important to let them know that those feelings are completely normal. For the most part, your children simply need to understand that you acknowledge their emotions about the situation so that you know how to respond.
If your children are angry, allow them to express that and validate those feelings. If they’re confused and full of questions, answer them in a neutral manner without letting any hostility about the divorce seep through. They may not want to verbalize their emotions with the knowledge that their parent is in a bad place, though in a family divorce, the parents are the ones tasked with protecting the children, not the other way around.
Maintain Your Daily Routines
Routines are healthy, for children and adults alike. They keep us comfortable and secure in our short-term futures, simply because we know what to expect. It’s common for daily routines to become more irregular over the course of a divorce or separation, though during these times, they’re more important than ever. Pick-up and drop-off times for school, bedtimes, mealtimes, and other relevant routines will keep your children in a range of familiarity, helping to compensate for the level of change brought by the family divorce.
Since some routines are bound to change, such as family dinners and the like, preparation is key. Get your children ready for these transitions by informing them ahead of time, answering any questions they may have, and even giving them the leeway to make their own small decisions regarding the change.
Other Ways to Protect Your Children In a Family Divorce
Throughout your divorce, identifying any signs of detachment or behavioral change in your children is crucial. It lets you know that intervention is necessary, as they likely need help adapting to their new world. Parents can keep their children comfortable over the course of and after a divorce by occasionally asking them about their thoughts on the divorce, and reassuring them that they’re still loved and cared for all the same. If your children stray from their usual behavior and don’t return to normal after six to eight weeks, it could be time to seek professional help through a child therapist.
Reach an Agreement With a Settlement-minded Family Law Attorney
Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction, so that they can finally move onto their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.