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Divorce and Your Children: Softening the Blow and Promoting a Healthy Transition

Posted on in Children of Divorce

childrenand divorce, illinois divorce attorneyNo matter how hard parents work to reduce the stress, confusion, and hurt their children experience due to divorce, there is simply no easy way to get around the difficulties that surround the process. Divorce is emotionally taxing on everyone involved, but according to staff from the well-revered Mayo Clinic medical research center, there are certain steps you can take as parents to help make your children’s adjustment a little less painful in the long run.

Get Off On the Right Foot

While we know it is impossible for anyone to emerge from divorce completely unscathed, the transition can, at the very least, be less jarring when it is handled with care from the very beginning. This is especially true where children are concerned, as they are still developing and their emotions are heightened during stressful circumstances.

Communication is key: Get off on the right foot with aiding your child through the divorce process by having a sit-down with them. The Mayo Clinic recommends being honest about what is happening, but to avoid upsetting details. Acknowledge the hurt everyone feels about the situation, assure them they are not responsible for the split, and consider speaking with their school guidance counselor for additional support.

Increasing Your Child's Chances for Healthy Adjustment

Here are some other important steps you can take as a parent helping your child through divorce:

Be their parent - Research shows that children need structure and routine. They function best when there is consistency present in their day-to-day lives. It is only natural to want to give them space and loosen the reins while they are going through a hard time, but doing so can actually backfire and produce the opposite desired result. As your child grieves, continue to give them boundaries and strive to maintain existing routines.

Leave them out of the conflict - Another common mistake parents make during divorce transition is allowing their emotions to take over and involving their children in the conflict. This can manifest itself with arguments in front of the children about the other parent, or interrogating them about the other parent. It is all too easy for children to become collateral in divorce when tensions are high. Avoid speaking badly about the child’s other parent in front of them and do not pressure them in any way that makes them feel as if they need to choose sides.

Make them a priority - Self-care is paramount when it comes to divorce, but as much as you may be struggling with your own transition, it is important to make your children your priority - and to make sure they know they are a priority - throughout the months that follow the split. Attempt to be civil with your ex-spouse in order to put the needs of the children first, and cooperate in any way you can to secure visitation and custody arrangements that have the children’s best interests in mind.

Helping your children through a divorce is a daunting challenge, but it can be done with the right resources, some patience, and hope for a healthy future. Increase your family’s chances of post-divorce success by working with a competent Kane County divorce lawyer. Call the Goostree Law Group today at 630-584-4800 for a personal consultation.


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