Although divorce may take its emotional toll on the adults involved, it can also be incredibly difficult for any children you have together. Parents can help navigate the aftermath of a divorce more easily when they understand its effects on children and make concerted efforts to help their kids through the process.
Among the key strategies a parent should consider employing are the following:
- Allow the relationship with the other parent to stay intact. Negative feelings may exist between former spouses, but children still wants to maintain a loving connection with both parents. For a child, a parent can never be replaced, so acknowledging this need and allowing a healthy relationship to exist will better help your child deal with the difficulties of a divorce.
- Be realistic about a child’s role. When marriages end, kids feel the loss keenly and may try to fill a role that for which they are ill suited, such as trying to parent younger siblings or comfort a parent who feels lonely or alone. These added responsibilities — even if they’re self-imposed — create additional stress on children. Parents would do well to ensure kids focus on navigating their own lives and challenges rather than trying to solve their parents’ problems.
- Keep kids in a neutral zone. Children should never find themselves used as bargaining chips between parents in conflict. Because kids are especially sensitive to these issues, they may want to try to mediate between parents — but they shouldn’t be intentionally or unintentionally asked to play such a significant role.
When going through a divorce, remember to take into account how difficult the process can be on your children. For further guidance on this important issue, speak with a compassionate St. Petersburg divorce lawyer at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.