It is common knowledge that children have a difficult time emotionally when their parents get a divorce. If parents put the interests of their children first and make decisions that are in the best interest of the children, the children can weather the storm and will adjust favorably to the change in the family dynamics and living situation.
Talk to and Listen to Your Children
You need to be honest with your children, but that does not mean you have to tell them details about what has led to the divorce. It is important that neither parent says bad things about each other nor blame the other parent for the divorce.
Children should not be told about things like an extramarital affair or that the other parent is not providing enough financial support. A parent should never say things like, “We can’t go out to eat because your father/mother doesn’t give us enough money.” Those are adult issues and should stay adult issues no matter how old the children are.
Your children will be primarily concerned about what will happen to them. Questions they generally want answers to include:
- Where will we live and who will we live with?
- Does this mean we will have to move?
- Will we go to the same school?
- What about our friends? What will happen to them?
- Will we still get to take music lessons? Dance lessons? Play after-school sports?
You and your spouse will be co-parenting for the rest of your lives. There will be school events, graduations, marriages, births of grandchildren, and more where your children will want both of their parents present. It is important to them that you are cordial and polite to each other.
How a Child Specialist Can Help
When a child specialist can be brought into the process, it can help the family move forward in a healthier way. Parents learn what the needs of their children are and how they can best meet those needs.
The specialist can help parents make age-appropriate decisions about what to tell the children and understand what the needs are specific to their own children.
If you need help with your divorce, contact the Kim Mediation and Law Center today.