Gone are the days when parents pretend to still be together because they are afraid of the damage a divorce might do to their child. Now, we know that remaining in a bad marriage is not healthy, and the kids always seem to know when their parents’ relationship is on the skids. When both parents are committed to shielding the children from as much emotional fallout from the divorce as possible, everyone can emerge changed by the situation, but not destroyed by any trauma.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your child’s emotional health during divorce:
- Tell the kids while you are together. Ideally, the divorce announcement should come when both parents and all of the children are in the room. Set aside the time for a marathon session of discussing what is happening and how their lives will be affected. Allow them to ask questions and be willing to listen for what they are not expressing.
- Avoid arguments with your spouse. Disagreements can and will arise, but try to avoid arguing. Focus your energy on making smart choices and finding workable solutions rather than litigating old disagreements. Arguing – whether your kids are around to hear you or not – creates bad energy that the kids will feel.
- Remind your children that you loved them. Your kids may shrug it off and say they already know, but tell them anyway. It helps for them to hear it.
- Reassure the kids that the divorce is not their fault. As many times as it takes, make sure that they clearly understand that the divorce is none of their fault.
- Affirm their right to maintain a relationship with their other parent. Do not make your child choose sides, and do whatever you can to nurture their relationship with their other parent.
- Let them be honest about their feelings. Allow your child to feel free to express whatever they need to express about how the divorce makes them feel. Don’t make your child feel as if they must hide their emotions.
- Keep the visitation schedule as flexible as possible. Make your child feel free to spend time with each of you as much as possible before the divorce proceedings are finished. Once the parenting plan is set, stick to it.
- Mutually agree with your spouse to keep communication as peaceful as possible. Try your best to stay positive. If you feel angry or anxious, consider sending a text or an email, instead of calling your spouse, so that you can edit your words before you say them.
- You and your spouse should be on the same page and communicate honestly with your child about the divorce. Your children’s lives will be different.
- Don’t be shy about getting professional help when you feel overwhelmed.
Your Nashville divorce attorney from the law firm of Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, can be a great resource to you as you move through this challenging chapter in your life. We are determined to make sure that you get the best outcome possible for your divorce.
There is no need to feel like you must remain in a miserable marriage simply because you are afraid of the negative impact a divorce will have on your child. We can support you in doing everything in your power to lower the level of conflict and shield your child from the negative aspects of divorce. Our Nashville family law attorneys are here to guide you through your divorce and protect your rights throughout the process. You are welcome to call 615.454.9899 or fill out our contact form to reserve a consultation with the dedicated legal team at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC.