4 Useful Tips on How to Be There for Your Child After Your Divorce
Sept. 20, 2017
Children often react poorly to divorce for a variety of reasons. They do not completely understand what is happening or why, and they have very little control over what is going on. This is particularly frustrating for children when the divorce directly affect their daily lives.
As a parent, it can be difficult to put your wants and needs aside and comfort your child because you are going through a lot as well. However, for the sake of the child’s well-being, it is important that you be there for your child when he or she needs you most. You can do so by using the following tips:
Always, Always Make Sure Your Child Knows He or She Is Loved.
Children sometimes think that their parent does not love them any longer because of the separation or how they act in the divorce. Ensure that your child knows that this is simply not the case.
Explain that even adults make mistakes and hurt those that they love the most. Those mistakes can be the separation itself, how a parent reacts to a particular situation, or failures resulting from scheduled visitation. No matter the circumstance, be sure that the child knows that how his or her parent is acting is not their fault.
While children do not need to hear every detail about the situation, explaining what is going on can do wonders to help with frustration and hurt feelings. Do not sugarcoat the situation. Allow your child to vent, but try to avoid apologizing for the other parent or criticizing him or her. Making excuses for the other parent can undermine the child’s need to develop their own reaction.
Likewise, being overly critical about the other parent can undermine your own relationship with your child. If they feel as though you aren’t giving an honest assessment of the other parent they are just as likely to feel distant from you because of their perception that you aren’t being honest.
Get Other Adults Involved.
When parents separate, there may be a significant gap when the other parent is missing out on day-to-day activities. Make it a point to incorporate more family members to help fill those voids. For example, if your child’s father is no longer around, you could make efforts to encourage the child’s grandfather or uncle to be more active in the child’s life. It is a good idea to have additional role models for your child, if possible. Keep an eye on if they make a positive presence in your child’s life.
Do Not Fight in Front of Your Children.
Set a good example for your kids and try to work together with the other parent as much as possible. If you have a disagreement, talking it out in front of the kids indicates compassion, compromise, and a constructive way to work through problems. However, when conversations are not productive because of mean words, threats, or yelling, you need to stop immediately and have the conversation at another time. Children are less likely to be anxious if they know that their parents can behave like adults around one another.
Many judges will tell you in the courtroom that the most common statement that they hear when children are interviewed about a case is that the children wish that their parents were nicer to each other. If you need to fight with your significant other, it is better to do that away from listening ears that won’t be able to sort through the reasons why you are so upset.
There are many other methods you can employ to help your kids through this trying time. Keep in mind that it will take some time for both you and your child to adjust. Patience and understanding are both critical right now.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of managing your family life and handling a court case as well, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would love to be able to address the needs of your family in a compassionate way that helps you to protect the people to love most. For your Arizona divorce and child custody case, contact the Law Office of Tad Davis for understanding, experienced legal help.