Protecting Your Kids During a Divorce

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Divorce effects kids in many negative ways. Reports show children and teenagers are both at risk. Low self-esteem, poor grades, poor peer relations, aggression, health problems, behavioral difficulties, and depression are just some of the problems kids face because of a divorce. While divorce is hard on children, it is the parents fighting with each other that causes the most harm to them. It is essential, therefore, to keep your children from this negativity as best as you can.

Parents don’t often recognize the problems divorce causes to their kids. Divorce is often done in such a way that it makes the process harder than it has to be. During these turbulent times, a main focus should always be on the well being of the children. How exactly can you protect your kids during a divorce?

Normality in home life is key.

With family life changing, it is essential to keep your children’s everyday life as normal as possible. Allow them their routine. Let them sleep in their own bedrooms at home, study in the same school, and participate in the same extracurricular activities. Let them also continue spending time with friends. Children find comfort in familiarity, and so consistency is key.

Don’t put your children in the middle.

Your children are probably switching between houses and between spouses for visitation. Make sure shared visitation or shared custody doesn’t turn into a way to exchange messages between parents. Don’t place your children in a position to take sides. Don’t query them about how the other parent is doing. Placing your children in the middle stresses them unnecessarily, so do your part to keep the young ones out of your relationship with your ex-spouse.

Reassure your children.

Your children aren’t responsible for your divorce. Make sure they know that. Constantly remind them that both parents love them, and that the divorce isn’t their fault. Try to explain to your children in the best way you can why this arrangement is best for the entire family.

Remember that your children need both parents.

Remember that your children still need both a father and mother. Be selfless and urge them to see the other parent often. Don’t make them feel bad or guilty for having fun with the other parent. Make your children feel connected to both parents by having them keep in contact through phone or video calls, texting, and emails when visits aren’t possible.

Consider another approach to litigation.

If possible, consider an alternative approach to the divorce process, such as mediation. Mediation or another cooperative method allows both parents to concentrate on co-parenting instead of stretching out the process when it isn’t necessary. If both parents are able to set aside difficulties and create a parenting plan through the mediation process, your children will have a faster, smoother transition to the next phase of their life and will be less exposed to  uncertainty and animosity.

Take care of yourself.

Take care of yourself. This is important. Try not to let your children take care of you. Make a deliberate effort to live healthy by sleeping, eating, and exercising well. Seek comfort and support from relatives and friends, or even from a therapist or support group if you find yourself facing depression or anxiety. Remember, you are the adult and your family needs you now more than ever.

 

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