When a family finds itself in the middle of a divorce or separation, one of the first worries is “what about the kids?” Divorce has been associated with several problems for kids and youngsters including:
- low self-esteem,
- health problems,
- diminished academic problems,
- poorer peer relations,
- conduct problems,
- and noncompliance
However, studies have proven that while divorce can be hard on children, it is usually the fighting of the parents that most directly affects the kids, and the impact depends on how well the parents are able to isolate the kids from these commotions.
The following are four tips to keep in mind to help protect your kids from the problems they may face during parental divorce:
- Try a Friendly Alternative to Litigation
Taking a collaborative approach or choosing to mediate will reduce contentiousness and will probably make the process easier and faster, meaning your kids will be exposed to less uncertainty and acrimony.
The traditional litigation process is inherently argumentative and pits you and your partner against each other from the start. Hiring a divorce attorney is important, but choosing to mediate will enable you and your partner to focus better on co-parenting. Rather than leaving everything to the court to decide, mediation can help you develop a plan that you both agree on.
- Protect Your Kids from the Drama
Adjusting to life in two separate homes can be very hard for the kids. When the children are with you, you can help them by concentrating on doing the activities that they love and having fun together, rather than pushing for information about their “other home”.
Do not let your kids see you fight with your ex, and do not use them as messengers to deliver or seek information from your ex. Never say anything bad about your ex to your kids. It will not benefit your relationship with them or their well-being but put stress on them.
- Constantly Communicate
Constant communication is the most vital point, and it can’t be overstated. You might think it’s irrefutable that they aren’t to blame, but kids usually internalize feelings of guiltiness around separation or divorce, thinking they must be the reason. Emphasize their idea that both you and your ex love them and that they should maintain a strong relationships with both parents. The problems are between parents and children are not to blame.
- Take Good Care of Yourself
Create time to enjoy yourself. You are stressed out, and do not let that affect your ability to be a good parent to your kids. If the children are at your ex’s house, enjoy some tranquility, or get a massage. You will have more energy end feel much better around your children.