Strategies to support the children
All children are affected by divorce, but most can overcome the stress and go on to lead healthy emotional lives, particularly when their parents are supportive throughout the process. Some of the ways parents can ensure that their kids feel supported as they negotiate the new realities divorce brings include:
• Communicating with each other openly and honestly
• Forming a co-parenting relationship with minimal or no conflict
• Encouraging their children to develop positive relationships with both parents
• Never putting kids in situations where they feel they are stuck in the middle
• Being consistent with discipline in both homes
• Seeking therapy and other methods of self-care for the kids and themselves
The children’s emotional well-being is always the priority
Protecting the kids’ emotional well-being during the dissolution of the marriage and beyond focuses on ensuring they feel loved no matter how many changes they experience, which can include moving to other neighborhoods or smaller homes and sometimes losing day-to-day contact with one of their parents. Throughout this process, parents should help their kids develop problem-solving skills as well as help them understand how strong they are mentally. While divorce is a challenge, kids should learn to trust their parents and themselves enough to know that they can handle it.
Parents can work together, assisted by their divorce lawyers, to create a parenting plan during the divorce process. A parenting plan can help parents succeed with co-parenting by anticipating many of the challenges that might come later and setting up rules and boundaries.