If you have children and are getting divorced, one of your biggest worries will be how it will affect them. You may have heard tales about how it can cause well-adjusted kids to become rebellious dropouts. Or perhaps you have seen a friend’s child become withdrawn and depressed after their parents divorced.
It does not have to be like this. With over a third of all marriages ending in divorce, many children manage to cope exceptionally well with their parents splitting up. Likely, some of those children you admire in your child’s school form or Saturday dance class do not live in a nuclear family either.
One of the most challenging things for a child whose parents are separating is the sudden loss of control. Even though you, as the parents, control many aspects of your child’s life, each child builds their world and routines, which they determine. The older they are, the more choices they will want to make for themselves.
Divorce can leave children feeling helpless in the face of such a colossal change over which they have no control. Here are some things you can do to help your child:
- Involve them in decisions: If you search for a new house, take your child along and listen to their opinions.
- Give them things they can control: If you do not have a pet, this may be an ideal time to get one. It gives your child responsibility for the life of another being. Alternatively, you could allocate them a patch of garden to transform or let them turn the shed into their secret den, where adults do not enter.
An attorney who understands how stressful divorce can be for children can help you through the divorce process, leaving you more time to care for your children.