There’s no doubt about it, children have a tough time when their parents get divorced. Common initial reactions include shock, frustration, worry, and sadness. While parents don’t want their children to have to endure such a painful life event, it’s important to note that children are resilient and are often better off when their parents live apart and the household tension isn’t at a fever pitch on a daily basis. How your child reacts is somewhat out of your hands, but you can reassure them their feelings are understandable and that both you and their other parent still love them.
You can help your children process their emotions by:
- Encouraging them to be honest about their feelings
- Helping them put their feelings into words and being a good listener when they talk to you
- Offering support and suggesting a few ideas to help them cheer up
- Keeping your communication with your ex civil so your children don’t feel pulled apart by the conflict
- Trusting your parental instincts if you sense your child can’t cope or adjust well
Signs Your Child Is Having Trouble Coping with Your Divorce
You may not notice your child reacting by emotional outbursts. Instead, these children bottle up their negative emotions and may display their stress in other, less noticeable ways. Some children have appetite changes, behavior problems, or sleep pattern disturbances as they try to adjust to mom and dad no longer living together. It’s normal. You should communicate to your child about what they can expect regarding who they will live with, where they’ll go to school, where they will spend holidays, and how your divorce will impact their day to day lives.
Mourning the loss of your nuclear family is also normal. However, over time you will accept your new life – both as the divorced parent or the child of divorced parents. The family will be split up and everyone involved with gradually adjust to their new life situation. As the parent, it is your duty to put your kids’ needs first and not use them as pawns in the divorce-related matters you’ll need to agree upon before the divorce decree is final, like child custody and child support.
Discuss Your Divorce-Related Concerns with a Family Law Attorney
Are you ready to put the past behind you and move forward with a renewed zest for life? You can do it, and so can your children. We can help. At the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher, we are a compassionate team of professionals eager to help you get your due desert in your divorce. Contact us today at (352) 503-4111 for a consultation or reach out online for a quick reply.