Getting divorced is always hard on the people involved, but it’s often the collateral damage that can be the hardest to manage. When we get divorced, it’s not just one couple that’s separating, in many ways it’s families, groups of friends and the people that matter the most as well.
Today, we’re going to discuss a sensitive topic and that’s our children. For children, divorce can be a life changing experience and navigating the do’s and don’ts can be extremely challenging. While there’s no shortage of advice out there in terms of what TO DO, most parents we find to be more terrified of the things they should avoid.
Today, we’re going to speak about a few of the key ‘don’ts’ of handling your kids during a divorce. Let’s jump right in.
Don’t speak negatively about your spouse
Focusing on your children and their mental well being is critical during a divorce. Making negative comments about your soon to be ex can harbor feelings of resentment, both with your soon to be ex and your children. And don’t forget – things you say to your children that are discovered CAN be used against you in a divorce. Whenever possible and to the highest extent possible – avoid speaking negatively about your spouse.
Don’t ignore verbal and physical signs
Divorce is difficult for children as well as emotionally and physically exhausting. Just as much as you’re struggling with everything, so are your children. They might be scared, sad, worried and overwhelmed with everything that’s happening around them. Look for things like changes in eating and sleeping, withdrawal socially, or difficulties focusing. If you see concerning signs, speak with a professional. Do not let them linger.
Be honest, but not overly so.
Hard conversations are good for a child’s development. Talk about your feelings, your struggles and be honest about certain challenges you may face together. Encourage them to ask questions and discuss their feelings. But it’s also important to not let them know too much. Don’t tell them things they shouldn’t know, wouldn’t understand or that would be highly upsetting.
Spend quality time with them
Above all else – kids need love, support and attention from their parents. Just because you’re caught up in a lot doesn’t mean your children should be relegated to the sidelines. Try to maintain as much normalcy as possible, whether it’s their routine, playing their favorite game with them, cooking/hobbies or even going on a trip. Make sure you spend quality time with your kids – especially during a time like this one where they’ll need you more than ever.
Hopefully today’s blog is helpful and can marginally put you at ease. Should you need to seek the help of a licensed Tampa Divorce Mediation professional, feel free to reach out to use and we’ll be happy to offer you a free consultation. Until then, good luck!