Your Trusted Legal Advocate

How divorcing parents can help children heal

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2024 | Divorce |

Parents typically worry about how the end of a marriage might negatively impact their children. Some parents try to stick it out in unhappy relationships for months or years because they don’t want a divorce to harm their children. Unfortunately, an unhealthy parental relationship can do as much harm as a divorce might.

Parents who decide to end a marriage are often eager to minimize the negative impact their change in relationship status might have on their children. There are numerous ways for parents to protect their children during and after a divorce.

Taking the pressure off of the kids

There are several ways that parents can create stress for their children during a divorce. The first relates to exposing the children to conflict. Children who witness their parents fighting or talking negatively about one another may have a harder time coping with a divorce.

Children who feel stuck in the middle may also struggle to adapt. Asking children to pass on messages to the other parent or report on their experiences at the other household can create unnecessary stress. Children should not be responsible for remembering to bring items back and forth between the households or relate messages between the parents.

Giving children healthy outlets

Many communities have support groups or playgroups for children with divorced or divorcing parents. Parents can take their children to a social environment where they can interact with other kids going through similar family transitions. A support group can give a child a confidential space to express their feelings and can help validate their experience during the divorce.

Mental health support services can also be beneficial while children acclimate to divorce. Many children might benefit from one-on-one counseling. They could also derive indirect benefits when their parents seek counseling either individually or as co-parents.

Making life predictable again

One of the reasons that divorce is so difficult on children is how disruptive changing family circumstances can be. They don’t know what to expect, and therefore they don’t know how to behave. If parents work together to keep their expectations and rules consistent between the two households, the children may have an easier time adapting to the new family situation.

Maintaining the same curfew and rules that both houses can go a long way toward reducing how hard it is for the children to adjust. Giving children plenty of patience if their grades temporarily drop or they start acting out during a divorce is also important.

Parents who center their children in all major child custody decisions can reach arrangements that actually help their children heal. Cooperative parenting and child-focused communications can the beneficial for the entire family unit during and after divorce.