It may go without saying, but divorces can be stressful. The emotions that come from a failed marriage coupled with the unknown that comes with starting over again can raise one’s anxiety levels.
In the midst of a divorce, it should not be lost that children could be laboring under the stress of a divorce just like their parents. After all, the prospect of their family breaking up, along with the uncertainty of when they may be able to see the other parent, much less maintain a relationship with them and other extended family members may be too much to bear. And this is before the guilty feelings that lead children to believe that they were responsible for their parents’ divorce.
In these situations, it is important for divorcing parents to use a united approach in supporting their children. This post will identify a few ways to support your kids.
Be empathetic – Active listening critically important for children of divorce. Parents may forget that their children need outlets to express themselves and to work through their concerns and fears. Children, especially teenagers, may not always be comfortable airing their feelings to their parents, but having a non-judgmental ear can help prevent unhealthy expressions.
Incorporate a worry wall – As we alluded to earlier, children may not always be forthcoming about their feelings, but internalizing worries can exacerbate an already stressful situation. So as one type of outlet, a worry wall where children can stick post-it notes about their problems so that parents will know about them can help.
Be patient – Feelings are not resolved overnight. Take one day at a time and don’t give up hope.
If you have additional questions about child custody and parenting time, an experienced family law attorney can help.