On behalf of The Jacks Law Group posted in child custody on Thursday, April 30, 2015.
If you are a parent, the decision to get a divorce probably came with a lot of worry about how it would impact your children. You may have heard the horror stories of kids who suffer academically, emotionally and even physically because they came from “broken homes.”
While parental divorce can be very difficult for children, the good news is that the emotional pain doesn't have to be permanent, and there are some basic things you can do to minimize the effect of divorce on your children. Fortunately, most of these tips are common-sense things you may already be doing.
Most child development experts say that stability and consistency are two very important factors in helping kids cope with divorce. To that end, you and your spouse can:
- Keep school-day routines intact, including homework routines and bed times
- Maintain the same pre-divorce house rules, and enforce them in both households
- Maintain family togetherness in the form of family dinners and activities
- Maintain your parenting style and resist the urge to suddenly become the “fun parent” or the “friend”
- Maintain academic and behavioral expectations of your children (while keeping an eye out for signs they may be overwhelmed)
Finally, you can help your children cope with the divorce by omitting details they don't need to know and by remaining a cooperative co-parent (if applicable in your situation). It is tempting for divorcing couples to badmouth one another or fight in front of their children. Yet this behavior is among the more toxic stressors that your children can experience. In order to protect them from this, make sure that you verbally support your co-parent and encourage your children to maintain a good relationship with him or her.
Divorce is hard on the entire family, and no parent gets things right 100 percent of the time. But if you can remember to keep giving your kids the stable and loving environment they need and want, you may be surprised at how resilient they can be.
Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Reminders for Divorced Moms and Dads,” Meerabelle Dey, April 4, 2015