Divorce is one of the most difficult things for any couple to endure, but it becomes exponentially more challenging once children are involved. Suddenly, protecting their emotions becomes more complicated, as you and your partner are now openly operating on different schedules, lifestyles, and are likely not getting along. Children can pick up more than you believe, which is why it is essential to have a backup plan when things don’t necessarily go the way you planned.
Helping your children navigate through this complicated process as seamlessly as possible is crucial to your child’s overall wellbeing and happiness, which is why our Jackson divorce lawyers at Casey, Simmons, & Bryant, PLLC, can be a valuable asset to you during this major life change. As knowledgeable and skilled divorce lawyers, we can provide you with information on how to best handle the complicated road ahead.
Here are a few key factors to consider in helping your child cope with divorce:
- Open communication – Whether your child is expressing disappointment, anger, or sadness due to the situation, it is vital you allow your child to openly speak about his or her feelings. Bottling them up will only lead to worse outbursts later, so it is imperative you create a safe space for your child to vent about his or her frustrations, especially if they are aimed at a particular parent. Perhaps your ex didn’t show up when he or she said they would--this would be a natural moment for your child to be very upset. If you shut down the conversation when your child expresses disappointment about your ex-spouse, you are letting your child know he or she is alone and cannot open up to either of you.
- Encourage a normal routine – Divorce feels catastrophic to children, and registers in their minds like a serious crisis. Setting and sticking to a regular routine can help create a sense of normalcy for your child, and it will give them a sense of stability during this inherently unstable time.
- Don’t fight in front of your kids – This may be one of the worst things to do in front of your child, because he or she is not mature enough to understand the nature of your argument. Whether it is a full-blown argument or simply a heated conversation, exposure to these kinds of conflicts are proven to be negative for children all around.
- Have a backup plan – If something goes awry and your ex-spouse cancels last minute for plans made with your children, be ready with another activity. Distracting your child from the disappointment by showing them their day doesn’t have to be ruined is a positive reinforcement after what may have been a serious letdown.
- Create a community – Your child should know many people love him or her, even if their parents don’t love each other anymore. Surrounding your child with loved ones such as grandparents, friends, extended family, or neighbors, can create a more positive environment overall.
- Be positive – Openly expressing sadness or anger when your child has to leave you to spend time with their other parent can be debilitating. Many times, children feel guilty for leaving one parent to go with the other, so it is essential you showcase your emotions to be positive. Encouraging your child’s relationship with your ex-spouse is necessary, and your child will thank you for it in the long run.
- Make it clear your child is loved – Perhaps the most important point of all, it is essential you provide your child with positive affirmations of love, especially when he or she feels sadness or disappointment at the situation. Children may exhibit low self-esteem due to a divorce, especially if one parent happens to cancel or be a no-show. They take it upon themselves and become overly self-critical. This is where you must step in and explain to your child that even adults make mistakes, and this in no way is a reflection on the love your ex-spouse feels for your child. You can’t erase your child’s pain, but you can try to prevent its long term effects.
Our compassionate and dedicated divorce lawyers at Casey, Simmons, & Bryant, PLLC are proud to serve Jackson, Memphis, Clarksville, and West and Middle Tennessee. We can help create a more constructive and harmonious situation for you and your ex-spouse by providing you with the tools to ease the difficulty of your divorce process. Don’t hesitate to speak to one of our representatives today and begin healing your family today.
Schedule your initial consultation today by contacting us at 731.256.0023.