Separation and divorce is a topsy-turvy time for all involved―especially the children. Everybody is dealing with new situations, scary feeling, and lots of change. It can be hard to know how to act and what to do. This is the first in a 2 part series of simple advice for parents going through a divorce.
Be a good listener.
We are all busy with our adult lives and a divorce adds a whole new layer of demands on our attention. But, you still need to be attentive to what your child is saying. As hard as the divorce is on you, your children especially need you to be emotionally present them. That is why it is crucial that you allow your child to express their feelings. Parents don’t always want to hear children’s anger, particularly when it’s directed at us and our choices. And yet, the respect we give our children when we allow them―without judgment or justification―to be angry or sad about the divorce is an important part of being a parent. We allow our children to have feelings and to express them. This is not a one-time event; children of all ages need to talk about the divorce a lot. Let them. This is a sad time for the whole family.
Be loving and comforting toward your child.
Divorce is an unsettling time and it lasts for awhile―months, if not years. This is a time for you to be a comforting presence for your child where you make bedtime stories extra-long or make sure that you and your child are together at the dinner table. Hugs, kisses, games of catch, walking the dog together, these are also part of the divorce process as you start transitioning your family time into your new future. Spend your leisure time with your child. Play together, and remember that the fun parts of being a parent don’t have to stop just because there’s a divorce happening.
Protect your child from parental disputes.
Divorce or separation is never easy, and you may experience anger and frustration toward your spouse. Your child should never see negative feelings build up into an altercation between their parents and they depend on you to make sure negative feelings and comments are nipped in the bud. Be aware that you and your spouse are the two most important people in the world to your child and when you argue in front of them, the world can become an incredibly scary place.
Support the other parent.
You may be getting a divorce from your spouse but remember that your child loves that person dearly. It’s hurtful and potentially quite harmful for your children to hear you make angry comments about their other parent. It doesn’t matter if you are just letting off steam; it still hurts. You are responsible for keeping your anger away from your child so that he is not hurt by your language or feelings.
To learn more about how divorce mediation can help your case, contact any of our Divorce Attorney Mediators or Certified Divorce Financial Analysts at CT Divorce Mediation Centers. Divorce and Family Mediation and Collaborative Law are all we do. We have offices in Madison, New Haven, Cheshire, West Hartford, Glastonbury, West Hartford, and Windsor, CT. To find out more information or to schedule a consultation with our divorce experts, call us at (860) 986-1141.
DISCLAIMER:This publication is not meant to constitute legal, accounting, financial, investment advisory, or other professional advice. If legal, financial, investment advisory or other professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person such as CT Divorce Mediation center, should be sought.