Reducing the Impact of Divorce on Children
Deciding to get divorced is a very difficult decision especially when kids are involved. Once you’ve made the decision, an adjustment period begins. Dr. Patrick F. Fagan, Founder Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, found that children whose parents are divorced can be more susceptible to health, behavioral, and emotional problems, if the proper steps are not taken.
Your Behavior is a Huge Factor
“Behavioral modeling” is the psychological process when a child will copy or mimic the emotions, words or actions that they see. Thus, the first way to mitigate the effect of divorce on your child, is to not be negative, lash-out, or argue with your spouse, ex-spouse, or others in front of your children. This seems simple, but it means being cognitive of what your child might be witnessing. For example, if you are gossiping with your best friend about your ex, complaining about child support to your parents, or whispering things under your breath, your child can pick up all of these conversations.
Make the Transition Easy on Your Child
Try to change as little as possible in their routine. If your entire family is at a school function the focus should be on your child and not on the potential animosity you might feel or the awkwardness you wish to avoid with your ex. It is important to remember that children in divorced families with minimal conflict are not very different than families with parents who are not divorced, so putting your child first in all events will help to keep the conflict down.
Be Respectful to Your Ex and to Yourself
Communication is hard without the added pressure of a divorce. This means you will probably have to work twice as hard working on the communication you have with your ex. Make sure you are clear and concise when communicating with your ex, the less confusion, the smoother things will run. This also means you need to understand what your limits are and what you are comfortable with when it comes to communication and seeing your ex. If there are clear lines that are established, your child is less likely to get confused and lash out.
A Easy and Quick Divorce is Best For Everyone
The best way to make this transition easy for your child is to find an attorney who understands the complexities and sensitivities that go into a divorce. Finding someone who has your and your child’s best interests in mind and someone you trust is key to making this life change easy on your family.
If you are considering getting a divorce, or need legal guidance on matters dealing with divorce, child custody, and property division. Please email, Paul Goetz. He will listen and develop a personal plan for you and your family.