Divorce is hard enough for spouses, but when there are children involved, it makes the situation even more difficult. You and your spouse understand the circumstances, you have an idea of what to expect, and you know that everything is about to change, even if you are not yet prepared for it. Your child, however, does not have the same perspective you and your spouse have. Your child only knows that mom and dad are not going to be in the same home anymore, which might instill a sense of fear and uncertainty that he or she is not able to cope with.
To help your child deal with divorce, here are some tips:
- Make it clear your child is loved: When parents go through a divorce, a child might begin to question whether or not he or she is loved. This might be especially true if one parent never seems to come through and is often absent. It might place a sense of blame on the child and fuel the belief that better behavior might have helped the situation. Make sure your child understands the divorce could not have been prevented and that just because mom and dad are no longer together, does not change the fact that he or she is loved.
- Have a backup plan: If your ex-spouse is a no-show, it is important to have a backup plan prepared. Arrange a fun play date or activity for you and your child. Fun is an excellent diversion for a letdown and will help your child move forward without dwelling on disappointment. Decide how long you will wait for your ex to show up or call and be ready with other plans.
- Encourage communication: Let your child know that it is okay to voice frustrations and disappointment. This is a tough time and bottling in any negative emotions can be painful. If your child is unhappy with a parent's lack of follow-through, persuade him or her to express those thoughts. It is helpful not only for a child, but for both parents.
- Be open to altering the visitation schedule: Consistency is important, but if a parent simply cannot work with the current visitation schedule, you might want to revisit it. Flexibility on everyone's part will make a difficult situation run more smoothly, with fewer hiccups, and less disappointment.
- Never fight in front of your kids: Heated arguments and disagreements should take place when your child is not around. This does not mean you have to pretend to be best friends, but you should not be at each other's throats either. Try to be civil for the sake of your child.
- Strive for peaceful transitions: Kids are excellent at sensing tension, even when exes are not being overly argumentative. If you absolutely cannot be civil with your ex, the last resort might be for your ex to pick up your child from neutral ground, such as school or a friend's house.
- Smile when you say goodbye: When your child goes to visit the other parent, make it clear you are happy. Exhibiting sadness or anger will make your child feel guilty about leaving, which will harm your child in the long run. Cultivating a good relationship with both parents is in your child's best interest, so never try to compromise that by selfishly displaying displeasure. Your child should not have to worry about you.
- Give the right welcome home message: Just as it is important to send your child off with a smile, it is also crucial to welcome your child back without sending messages of unhappiness or disapproval. Be supportive of your child. You might not get along with your ex, but your child loves both of you, and you should not make him or her feel bad about it.
Katy Family Law Attorneys
If you are going through a divorce, we understand the difficulties you might be facing. At The Springer Law Firm, our team of Katy divorce attorneys is here to provide amicable solutions and help our clients avoid any unnecessary conflict and expenses. We take the time to understand each family's unique situation and will answer all of your questions clearly, so you know all of your legal options at every juncture. Let us guide you through the process and help you transition into this new phase of your life.
Contact us today at (281) 990-6025 for a consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.