Your dreams of marriage and children may seem like a distant memory during a divorce. While divorce is a trying time for everyone, it becomes even more complicated when there are children involved. An imminent divorce doesn’t mean you love your children any less. In fact, shielding your child from constant bickering and arguing could give them an opportunity to further their relationships with you and your ex-spouse in a positive environment.
You and your ex-spouse may disagree on child custody arrangements. If this happens, it’s essential to consider your child’s best interests and well-being. Divorce can have many negative consequences on children of all ages. As a parent, you can take certain precautions to minimize the effect your divorce will have on your beloved child.
Five ways to help your child in a divorce
Children of various ages and personalities approach divorce differently and react uniquely to it. The uncertainty of the future after a divorce produces anxiety for your child. Other feelings they may potentially experience include loss and anger.
Support and guidance can help smooth your child’s transition into divorce. Parents.com offers suggestions for helping your child. Five important recommendations are:
- Remove your child from the conflict: Having confrontations with your ex-spouse in front of your child can place additional and unnecessary stress on them. Remember, the divorce is between you and your ex-spouse.
- Listen to your child: Maintaining open communication with your child allows you to better understand their emotions. It benefits your child when they can freely express their feelings and prevents them from feeling ignored. Your child probably has a lot of questions they want to ask about what will happen next. Try your best to answer their questions and concerns honestly.
- Maintain a set schedule: It’s important for your child to experience normalcy during such a transitional period in their life. A set schedule provides stability in a constantly changing environment.
- Stay focused on your child: Instead of viewing child custody as a way to “win” the divorce, consider how divorce impacts your child and their life. Think about what’s in their best interests and what kind of arrangement fits well with their needs. California courts put your child first when determining custody. Legal and physical custody are the two possible custody types in California.
- Show your child they’re loved: Your child might internalize the blame for your marriage’s dissolution. Clearly communicate to them they’re not to blame and that both you and your ex-spouse love them.
Divorce can complicate your life, but it’s critical to reduce any potential negative effects it may have on your child. Overall, both you and your ex-spouse want what’s best for them. Keeping the recommendations listed above in mind could help smooth your child’s transition through divorce. To keep your own emotions at bay, don’t be afraid to seek outside support, both legal and emotional.