If you’re like most parents going through a divorce in Stockton, you’re most concerned about the impact the split will have on your children – and it’s your goal to help them come through it as unscathed as possible.
There’s plenty of research that says kids can come out of divorce stronger and more resilient than they were before, and fortunately, there are some things you can do to help encourage that.
How to Help Kids Through Divorce
“It [divorce] is nothing to be ashamed of,” says Meri Wallace, licensed counselor and social worker. In many cases, it is better for everyone involved to sever a relationship that is causing grief. Children experience a great deal of anxiety when they live with constant parental discord. In fact, in many situations, children do better when they relate to each parent alone in a healthier environment. If parents accept their decision and present it as natural part of life, they can help their kids to overcome the difficulties.”
Your best bet is to present a united front when you tell them about the divorce – meaning you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse sit down and tell your children together – and then work forward from there.
Wallace suggests saying something like this: “Mommy and Daddy fight all the time and it makes us all unhappy. We’ve decided it would be better for all of us if we live in separate houses.”
Reassure your kids (when you tell them and continually after you tell them) that you both love them, and explain how things will work. If you’ve coordinated a parenting time agreement, make sure your kids know what it involves so they know what to expect. Make sure they know it’s not their fault, too – Wallace says that kids are “egocentric” and believe that their behavior or thoughts cause these types of things to happen.
“Avoid talking badly about the other parent or blaming the individual, even if you are angry. Children love and need both of their parents. They can easily experience a loyalty conflict and feel badly and this will deter an open dialogue,” says Wallace. “Children need to feel both of their parents are valuable because each child is a composite of their two parents.”
The more advance notice you can give your kids, the better, according to Wallace. For many people, too, it’s best to work with a parenting expert or family therapist. Your family therapist can help kids process their emotions and teach them new strategies for dealing with the issues surrounding divorce.
Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer?
You don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re contemplating divorce, or if your spouse has already filed for divorce, you can work with a Stockton family attorney who understands what you (and your children) are going through.
Call us at 209-910-9865 or get in touch with us online to talk to a Stockton family lawyer who can help today.