As a parent, you’ll no doubt encounter many situations in life when your children rely on you to help them through a difficult time. Such times might include issues that arise at school or in their social interactions. If you have teenagers in your household, they might struggle to resolve problems in the workplace, if they have a job. Your kids might need your help to deal with family problems, as well, especially if, at some point, you and your spouse decide to file for divorce in a Pennsylvania court.
No two children react to divorce in the same way. In fact, depending on several factors, including age or level of maturity, one of your kids might exhibit signs of anger toward you while another becomes reclusive and starts staying in his or her room more often than usual. There are several things that you can do to help minimize the negative effects a divorce might have on your children’s day-to-day life.
Make sure your kids know that they are not to blame for your divorce
One of the biggest mistakes parents make where children are concerned in connection with a divorce is to assume that the kids know they love them and that they are not to blame for the situation. Children often internalize family problems. To help your kids process their emotions after informing them that you have filed for a divorce, tell them that you and your spouse love them and that they have not done anything wrong or anything to cause problems in your marriage.
Encourage children to maintain an active relationship with their other parent
Your kids might mistakenly believe that, since you do not want to be with their other parent anymore, they shouldn’t want to be, either. As long as your ex is fit for the role, it may help your kids adjust to a new lifestyle if you encourage them to have an active relationship with their other parent. This will help them avoid confusion regarding loyalty.
Routine and structure are helpful goals to set for kids following a divorce
Divorce automatically causes disruption and changes in children’s lives. Children thrive on structure and routine. If your goal is to help them minimize stress, you’ll want to try to maintain as much routine and structure as possible in their daily life. While certain things might have to change, such as transportation to and from school or afterschool practices, where they live and more, developing a steady routine and new system that includes cooperation between you and your ex may help your children adapt to their new lifestyle.
Deal with problems as they arise
If a child is having trouble adjusting after a divorce, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for additional support, either from family members, teachers, counselors or a trusted friend. If a custody issue is causing stress in the household, you can seek legal guidance and support to try to resolve the problem as swiftly and peacefully as possible. A divorce changes your kids’ lives, but it doesn’t have to ruin them.