Parents preparing for divorce are often at odds with each other about just about everything. If there is one thing they can still agree on, it is probably that their children’s needs should come first. Some parents delay divorce filings for years because they worry about the impact it will have on their children. Thankfully, it is possible to minimize the harm that may be caused by a divorce filing for the minor children in a family with a little preparation and the right outside support.
Parents need to cooperate with one another whenever possible to discuss the upcoming changes to the family and positive terms with the children. They also need to make cooperative efforts to get the children outside support. The following kinds of assistance can make a big difference for children adjusting to the thought of their parents divorcing.
Accommodations and understanding at school
The divorce of parents often leads to a decline in academic performance. Students may become disengaged in the classroom or may simply have a harder time making studies their top priority. Notifying the school about the upcoming divorce is important. The school’s offices may need to know the details of the custody arrangement, including who has the authority to pick up the children from school. More importantly, the teachers who directly interact with the children and any support professionals at the school, like the counselor, may also need to know about the divorce. That way, they can adjust how they respond to academic issues and behavioral concerns more appropriately.
Professional or social support
Many children trying to process the news of a parental divorce would benefit from having professional guidance. A counselor, psychologist or therapist could play a very important role in helping a child process their emotions and develop the coping skills that will make it easier for them to handle their emotional reaction to their changing family.
There could also potentially be a local support group where children play or meet up to talk about the feelings they have related to divorce. Cooperating with the other parent to get a child therapy or make their regular attendance at a support group of priority can be beneficial.
Parents may also want to communicate with the extended support network for their child, including the family and any churches or social organizations that are important to the family. For young adults struggling with the idea of their parents divorcing, having the emotional support and guidance of adults that the children respect but who are not directly involved in the divorce can make a big difference.
Helping children in a family connect with appropriate support can significantly reduce the negative impact that divorce has the potential to inspire. Seeking legal guidance to better ensure that kids’ best interests are honored during divorce negotiations or litigation is important in this regard as well.