If you are getting divorced and have children, you may question how to tell your kids about the divorce. They may need help learning to cope with all the changes in their lives. Parents, and other adults who love the children, may need tips on helping kids survive divorce. We will look at few tips in this article.
Recognize Stages Kids Go Through
After telling your children about the divorce, watch for the following emotions and behavior:
- Denial – refusing to believe their parents are separating.
- Anger – misbehaving and acting out because of the disruption to their lives.
- Depression – feeling overwhelmed or helpless.
- Bargaining – trying to get parents to reconcile.
- Acceptance – beginning to heal and get back to normal.
At every stage, parents may have the opportunity to help their children cope.
Parents Can Make Transitions Easier – Or Far More Difficult
The parents’ behavior goes a long way toward helping kids learn to survive and thrive during a divorce. With that in mind:
- Don’t use your children as pawns or messengers.
- Do talk positively as much as possible.
- Don’t talk bad about your children’s other parent.
- Do encourage your children to talk about how they feel.
- Don’t fight with each other in front of the kids.
- Do communicate cordially and coordinate visitation.
- Don’t forget to pick up and return the kids at the scheduled dates and times.
- Do show your children that you love them.
In addition, negotiate your marital settlement and parenting plan in good faith. Try to come up with a plan that helps your kids survive divorce.
Courts Pay Attention to Children’s Needs
Laws, statutes, and regulations cannot eliminate feelings of rage, revenge, unworthiness, and grief. It may be difficult to control your emotions and actions. However, judges will assess how parents relate to their children when deciding child custody arrangements. Courts are required to keep the children’s best interests in mind, even when the parents struggle with addressing their kids’ feelings along with their own.
Helping Kids Survive Divorce Is a Top Priority
It’s not always easy, though. Having an attorney help with a divorce may ease some of your tension.Judy Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. Please call our offices at 415-293-8314 to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys. We assist clients along the Northern to Central California Coast.