This is the second part to the series about helping children cope with divorce and what parents can do to make the transition and difficult period easier for kids to get through.
5. Ensure that the Father maintains a role in parenting
It is essential that the father maintains a significant presence and influence in their children's lives during and after a divorce.
There can be devastating long term consequences if a father's role is significantly or even completely diminished. Male children require a positive role model while female children receive a great deal of self esteem from the love and attention of their father. These things should not be taken away from innocent children just to punish the other spouse.
If a mother internalizes the pain and projects hostility onto the children and limits visitation, it can be highly detrimental to a child's mental, psychological and emotional development.
If you are struggling with your own issues regarding the divorce, seek professional help and avoid using children as leverage and a tool to punish your ex spouse.
7. Let them be children
Just because you and your spouse are going through turmoil does not mean that the children have to as well. Helping children cope with divorce means allowing them to be children, allow them to play, interact with other children, spend time engaged in their hobbies. This will also serve to distract them from the negative emotional impact in their home life.
As much as possible, try to be there with them and share these fun times and activities. It helps them build a sense of trust in the world and reassures them that everything will be fine.
8. Provide them with ample love and attention
When parents are going through a divorce it is quite common for them to become completely absorbed in the process, forget about helping children cope with divorce and neglect their children's needs to some extent. This is normal but it is also highly detrimental and parents should have the ability to put their emotions to one side and help their children during this difficult time by giving them as much love, attention and support as possible. This is actually when they need it most because there is so much change and uncertainty.
Helping children cope with divorce takes time, dedication and dealing you're your own emotional issues in tandem. Always be supportive, attentive and as positive as possible. Children can adapt quickly if they are given the right tools and support.
If you do happen to notice prolonged signs and symptoms of psychological distress it is best to seek the help of a professional who deals exclusively with children of a divorce. This can help both the children and take some pressure off you as a parent.
Making the decision to get a divorce is difficult and can have a significant impact on both the parties involved as well as children and other family members. Hiring the right divorce lawyer who is highly experienced and has dealt with issues regarding children and divorce is crucial.
At the Law Offices of Brian D. Perskin we can help can help you deal with and negotiate some of the most difficult matters such as child custody, child support, and Father's rights with the utmost professionalism and compassion.
Some further divorce resources:
Children in the Middle is a parent education program which helps parents to focus on their children's needs during and after a divorce/separation. It is very easy to focus on anger and resentment, and to forget that your children are hurting too. Consider what efforts you can make to keep the bond between your child and your child's other parent strong; in the vast majority of families this is an important and positive part of your child's development.