Divorce is typically difficult for everyone involved. You and your spouse have to find a way to untangle a life that you’ve spent years, maybe even decades, building, and you may feel wronged by the way that your marriage came to an end.
But even though your marriage dissolution might take an emotional toll on you, it can also feel devastating to a child. The world that they once knew can come crashing down around them, and the routines that they’ve grown accustomed to can be shattered. As a result, your child might act out, exhibiting emotions that are worrying to you and that you fear may affect them in the long term.
How to protect your child’s well-being during divorce
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect your child’s emotional and psychological well-being during divorce. Let’s look at ways that you can do that:
- Don’t play the blame game: Blaming your child’s other parent for the divorce is going to cloud your child’s perception of that parent and you. This can cause them to resent either or both parents, and they may even shut down, choosing instead to not interact with either parent. This, in turn, can damage the parent-child relationship.
- Let your children voice their emotions: Your child’s emotional reaction to your divorce may be more intense than you expect. That’s okay, though. Let your child feel the way they feel, regardless of how that is. Listen to them, acknowledge their feelings, and even help them put their emotions into words if they need help doing so.
- Don’t let your kids feel responsible: Children tend to internalize things, which means that your kid might feel like they’re to blame for your divorce. They might latch on to things that they did in the past or things that they feel like they should’ve done, but try not to let them dwell on that. Instead, remind them that they’re not to blame in any way, and that you’ll get through this tough time together as a family.
- Find consistency and routine: Your child is probably going to feel like their life is being upended by your marriage dissolution. One way to protect them during the process is to give them a sense of control and stability. One of the best ways to do this is to create some routine and set consistent expectations between each parent’s household.
- Be optimistic: We know this can be hard when you’re also struggling with the realities of your divorce, but you should try to set a good example for your child. Talk to them about how you’re going to move past this chapter of life and that when everything is said and done, it will be okay. It might also be helpful to remind them that all of you will always be a family.
Do you need help navigating the complexities of your case?
As if dealing with the emotional ramifications of your divorce isn’t enough, you also have to find a way to competently navigate the legal challenges awaiting you. The mere thought of this can lead to additional stress, which may leave you feeling debilitated.
But you don’t have to try to navigate your divorce on your own. In fact, you may find a weight lifted from your shoulders by turning to an experienced legal advocate for help. By doing so, you can ensure that your position is zealously advocated for while also freeing up your time and energy so that you can focus on those things that matter most to you, like your children.