The 5 Best Ways to Take Control When You Worry About How Divorce Might Affect Your Child

If you are thinking about or in the middle of a divorce and are concerned about how the divorce might affect your children, you can take steps now to help ease the transition for them.

The term “divorce” is simply a legal term for dissolving the marriage. What tends to negatively affect your child’s emotional well-being is actually the amount of conflict and hostility in the home before and during the divorce. I know this all too well as the adult child of divorce and from experience representing many clients over the years.

Here are the top 5 ways you can take charge now to help your child:

#5: Schedule regular times for your child to spend quality time with the other parent. It’s generally a good idea for you and your co-parent to agree on a regular parenting time schedule as soon as possible so that your child has the opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time with each of you. This can help ease the transition adjustment for your child.

#4: Seek the guidance of a reputable and competent family counselor. This is especially important if your child is doing poorly in school, having trouble in social situations, or experiencing any changes in eating or sleeping patterns. It’s also a good idea to check with your child’s teachers about any sudden changes in behavior at school. You can get referrals to reputable family counselors from family members, friends, colleagues, and especially your child’s pediatrician, school counselors, and teachers. There are also programs, like Rainbows, that may be available directly through your child’s school, as well as local support groups that deal directly with children and divorce.

#3: Don’t talk to your child about the details of your divorce or any of the legal proceedings. No matter how emotionally mature she believes she is her daughter, she is not her confidante. She should address her legal issues directly with her attorney, not her son.

#2: Do not badmouth the other parent to your child under any circumstances. Understandably, he may have negative feelings about the other parent during this time. However, it is important to note that mental health experts have found that children generally tend to identify with both parents, and when one parent badmouths the other, the children may in turn feel bad about themselves. Therefore, try to point out to your child positive qualities about the other parent, particularly if your child expresses negative feelings about the other parent to you. In general, you have a responsibility to your child to nurture and nurture a relationship between your child and their other parent.

And the first thing you can do for your child is:

#1: Love your child unconditionally and make it clear. He needs to know that that’s the one thing that will never change!