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Taking the pressure off of children during a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Divorce

For children, the divorce of their parents can be a profoundly challenging experience. Divorce can be destabilizing for a family. It can shake a child’s sense of self-esteem. It can also saddle them with a feeling of guilt, as it is common for children to blame themselves for the disintegration of their parents’ marriages.

Most parents are worried that a divorce could have a negative impact on their children. Thankfully, if they can maintain a measured and rational approach to the process, they can reduce how stressful divorce is for their children. How can parents help make divorce less difficult for the children they share?

Presenting a united front

Talking to the children together to tell them about the divorce and then cooperating throughout the transitions that follow can set an excellent example for the children. They not only get to see how the people they trust the most navigate difficult and painful experiences, but they may also learn about the importance of communication. When parents maintain shared standards and do their best to cooperate with each other, it makes it easier for the children to know what to expect. Consistency can help children adjust to living in two houses.

Shielding the children from conflict

Even when parents have the best intentions, their emotions might overwhelm them sometimes. Parents may lash out at each other during divorce proceedings. They might get into a screaming fight over the phone while the children are near one of the two parents. They could also end up arguing in person during custody exchanges. High-conflict divorces tend to be the most difficult for children. Parents who make every effort to keep their disputes away from their children can reduce the emotional and social fallout for the children.

As a closing note, it is also worth underscoring that it is important to provide children with ongoing support. The ability to talk with the parents about their feelings is important. So is keeping them plugged into their local support networks through their schools or churches.

Keeping the focus on the children can make the shift to shared custody easier for a family. What is difficult in the short term may end up yielding benefits for the whole family in the long run.