Every divorce is different, and every family is impacted in different ways by divorce. However, it’s often the children who seem to struggle the most with the change. How they react is determined by many factors, including their age, their personality type, and the circumstances of the divorce itself. All over Oakland County, our divorce and custody attorneys hear from parents whose children are adversely reacting to their parents divorcing.
While no divorce is ever easy or stress free, parents have loads of resources and advice available to them, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to “go it alone.” There are many things you can do to help your kids deal with their feelings, and process what is happening in a healthy and loving way. There are counselors and divorce support groups all over Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Novi and Commerce Township. Seek them out.
A few pointers that may be helpful for your children, regardless of their age, include:
1) Keep angry confrontations and fighting far away from your kids. The stress brought on by the conflicts of their parents only makes an already difficult situation even harder for them. By the way, kids means just that. We’re referring to your children no matter how old they are.
2) Minimize disruptions in their daily routines. Schedules and structure are very important to a child’s sense of stability. Maintaining routine will help children immensely during emotionally turbulent times.
3) No matter how angry you are at your spouse, don’t share your opinions of them with any your children. Trying to poison your children against your soon-to-be ex will only serve to make this process that much harder for them to handle and heal from later. Most of our judges here in Oakland County Family Court are intolerant of alienating behavior coming from either the father or the mother.
4) Be sure to keep both parents involved in the kids lives. The sudden disappearance of one parent can be very hard for children to understand. In many cases, a parent who goes from being a part of daily life to a once-a-week or even monthly visitor can result in children feeling unloved and assigning themselves the blame.The best parent is a co-parent.
5) Allow your kids the freedom to express how they feel about the divorce, even if what they say is hard to hear. They have a right to their feelings and they need to know that you are willing to listen to what they have to say.
6) Be honest but tactful. Let your kids know what is happening and what to expect so that they are prepared for the upcoming changes. But do so in a way that doesn’t assign blame. Often these topics are best discussed with both parents present. Take guidance from an experienced counselor.
No matter how hard parents try to ease the pain for their children during a divorce, there will still be frustrations, anger and hurt feelings to process. Take the time, as often as it is necessary, to reassure your children that you still love them and so does your spouse.
Remember, everyone copes differently and everyone has different needs during hard times. Be patient with your children. Give them the time and compassion that they need to heal. With the right support, your kids will grow up better able to cope with stress and conflict, and potentially be more flexible, allowing them to adapt faster to the curveballs life throws their way.
We understand that divorce can be difficult, both for kids and for parents. If you or a loved one have any questions about the divorce process in Oakland County, or need help sorting through issues related to parenting time, custody or even paternity, we are here to help.
Our highly skilled family law attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide you with the sound legal advice that you need. Call (248) 479-6200 to speak to a family law attorney today. Our Oakland County office is conveniently located in Farmington Hills. We are here to help you.