While going through a divorce, people tend to have difficulty understanding exactly how the process works, what their own conflicting emotions mean, and how to handle this new situation they find themselves in. For families with children, the situation can be even more challenging because talking to children about the problems between mom and dad is just not the easiest thing to do.
You feel uncomfortable discussing this so you’re not sure what to say to anyone about it at all. You may not have even admitted to yourself that your marriage is ending. At Holstrom, Block & Parke, we help parents navigate their way through the often very complicated divorce process. In so doing, we help their children understand and deal with this reality at the same time to ensure that they come out of the process relatively unscathed. Our attorneys can start using their experience and resources today to help you do the same. For a free telephone consultation with one of our attorneys!
Tips on Communicating with Your Kids
As parents, we want to protect our children and prevent them from enduring unnecessary hardship and emotional strain. Unfortunately however, divorce and separation, which in many cases puts a heavy burden on our children, are not always avoidable. Whether you are just starting the divorce process, or you are years into a child custody agreement, communicating with your children is probably one of the single most important steps you can take to protect their best interests.
- Be honest with your children. Divorce and separation will inevitably bring change to both your life and the lives of your children. For most, change will bring about a mix of emotions—some positive, some negative. Make sure that you have an age appropriate conversation with your children about your situation in order to help them manage their expectations. Pretending that nothing is going to change will set them up for disappointment and lower your credibility.
- Set aside time to regularly communicate with your children. Making communication a priority will show your children that you care about their feelings and value their input. Sit them down and tell them that they are a priority in your life. This will create an environment where your children feel safe to inform you if they are having trouble coping with things.
- Use non-verbal cues to show your children you are there for them. Communication is not limited to words. There are a variety of non-verbal ways to communicate with your children in order to reinforce to them that they are a priority in your life. Smile often, hug your children, and make frequent eye contact with them. This will signal to them that you care about them and their feelings. Remember that showing them affection can help to relieve a lot of the stress that your children may be going through during this hard time.
- Don’t talk negatively about your ex to your children. By venting to your children about your ex, you may be inadvertently causing unnecessary conflict. Children frequently feel caught in the middle of their parent’s breakup. Letting your children know that you them spending time with your ex may help to reduce the stress that they may feel from being caught in the middle. Remember that even though your ex may be the world’s hardest person to get along with, it is in your children’s best interest to have meaningful, frequent contact with him/her.
Overwhelmed by the thought of getting as divorce? Talk to an attorney who can help you manage the process in a way that works for you. Call our office directly today!