Planning ahead and developing a strategy is of the utmost importance for parents who are trying to minimize how stressful divorce is for children. Not only do parents have to tell their children about the major changes ahead for the family in an appropriate manner, they also need to prepare for the children to lash out emotionally and express themselves as they process their frustrations.
Parents also have to inform the family’s broader social network about the upcoming changes in the household so that their children can have adequate support. This process can certainly prove to be emotionally draining in many cases. What tactics can help them provide what their children need during this difficult time?
Encourage positivity whenever possible
Parents have to find ways to cooperate with one another without involving the children in their disputes during the divorce. Although this can prove challenging in many cases, most parents eventually find ways to maintain a healthy and positive dynamic.
They will often need to encourage friends and family to maintain that same degree of positivity or at least neutrality when discussing the other parent. Making sure everyone knows what the children have heard about the cause of divorce and reminding them about the importance of focusing on the children’s best interests can prevent well-intentioned people from causing emotional damage by speaking poorly of one parent or sharing too many details.
Ask for people to prioritize the kids
From grandparents to older cousins, there are likely many family members who can spend some quality time with the children in the upcoming few months. Children often experience a disruption in their connection with their parents during a divorce. They will need outlets for their intense emotions and people that they know love them and are in their corner beyond just their parents.
Perhaps they can have a weekend getaway with the grandparents after divorce hearings so that parents have a little bit of time to decompress emotionally and the children can do something fun at the same time. Maybe their aunt can just send a few extra text messages to check in on their emotional state. Having family members agree to prioritize the children and their connection with them can help them rebound emotionally during a challenging time.
Having genuine support from friends and family can make all the difference for young adults and kids who are struggling with the possibility of an upcoming divorce. Making appropriate use of family and community support can benefit those who are preparing to transition to a shared custody arrangement for their children.