When it comes to divorce, no two households are the same. You can’t predict exactly how your family will function after a divorce, but you can come close—and you can help prepare your children for the changes ahead. Children don’t show stress in the way we might expect as adults. Consider acting on these tips to remind your little ones they are safe and loved, even when their parents are apart.
- Maintain a Neutral Line of Communication
Divorce is a stressful and emotional experience, but you should always do your best to stay on good terms with your ex. Your children are still affected by your relationship, even if you’re not as close as you once were. You might consider keeping in touch via email, an informal but neutral format, and use it strictly to let each other know how the children are doing. It’s a comfortable way to keep your ex informed, and it sets the tone for conversations you may later have over the phone or in person.
- Give Your Children an Outlet
If you have the means, you may want to look for therapy or counseling sessions geared towards children or teenagers. It can work wonders for young children who may need an outlet for their frustrations, and for older children who may want an opportunity to discuss their concerns with a neutral party.
- Be Honest (Within Reason)
More than anyone else, your children look to you and their other parent for answers. Don’t dismiss their questions and concerns when they come up. Do your best to offer them an age-appropriate explanation of your divorce. Younger children usually do better with a simplified explanation, while older children may want to know more details.
- Avoid Confrontation
The most important label you can give yourself after a divorce is “co-parent.” Now that your split has been made official, you can ditch a divisive attitude in the interest of cooperation. Do your best to keep arguments away from the children. Use your tact and good judgement to avoid a hostile tone and phrasing, and walk away if you think a fight is brewing.
- Establish a Routine
Children do better with structure, especially in the face of a major change like divorce. Make sure they are braced for any changes they might encounter: not just the divorce itself, but also their living situation or their need to change schools, for example. Try to keep your parenting schedule as structured and reliable as possible to avoid confusion and unnecessary stress.
At Frankfurt Law, we believe a divorce lawyer should do more than file your paperwork. We understand that there is a family behind every divorce, and that with the right approach, these families can live happily under a new arrangement. Call our attorneys for an informed and compassionate approach to divorce law.