What can Texas parents do to help their children cope with a divorce?

Experiencing the divorce of their parents can be difficult for children; however, there are things that people can do to help them adjust to the changes.

As anyone in Texas who has gone through a divorce knows, it can be a disruptive and emotionally draining experience for those involved. This is particularly true for the children of couples who are divorcing as they often do not understand what is happening, or why. For some, enduring the divorce of their parents could impact their future relationships with their parents, and others. According to Medical News Today, one study found that adults who experienced the divorce of their parents as children were more likely to view their current relationships with their parents as unreliable. There are steps that people can take, however, to help their children get the process and adjust to the changes.

Tell children about plans

Often, parents choose not to tell their kids about their decision to end their marriage until well into the process. While this is usually done in an effort to protect their children, it could actually increase their upset and anxiety. This is because, whether people realize it or not, their kids have likely picked up that something is going on. Kidshealth.org suggests that parents talk to their children about what is happening as soon as they are sure of their plans.

There is no easy way for people to tell their children they are divorcing. It can, however, be helpful if both parents are there for the conversation. Kids may have questions, including queries about why their parents have decided to split and what the custody arrangement will be. By discussing what is happening together with their children, people may help reassure them that it is in no way their fault, they are still loved by both parents and that everything will be okay. It is also a good idea to tell all of the children at once.

Encourage communication

After the initial conversation with their kids, it is important for parents to keep the lines of communication open. It may take time for children to want to talk and they may have more questions as they continue to process the changes in their lives. By regularly checking in with them about how they are feeling, parents may get a better idea of how their children are coping with the divorce. When talking to their kids, it is helpful for parents to let them react and express their feelings, and to offer them reassurances that what they are feeling is normal.

Avoid negativity

At the end of a marriage, people often have feelings of hurt and anger toward their former partners. As such, they may have negative things to say about them. It is important for adults who are experiencing a divorce to be able to vent, talk about what is happening and express their feeling. However, they should not do this in front of their children. WebMD advises parents not to talk poorly about their ex to, or in front of, their kids. Doing so could make kids feel like they have to choose a side, blame one parent for the split, or impact their relationships with one or both parents.

Seeking legal guidance

The more contentious a divorce, the more difficult it can be for children in El Paso, and throughout Texas. As such, parents who are ending their marriages may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may help them negotiate agreements and guide them through the process.