Every year, thousands of children are faced with the reality that their parents are planning to get a divorce. Divorce can be stressful for everyone involved, especially children. The way they react to your divorce will depend on a variety of different factors including the age of the child, their personality, the reason for the divorce, the living circumstances after the divorce, and how the parents handle the divorce. Working with a certified divorce coach (CDC), such as Attorney Dawn Renken, can help you to lessen the impact of your divorce on your children. CDCs are trained to help you navigate your own feelings, as well as make the best choices for your children.
According to KidsHealth.org:
The most important things that both parents can do to help kids through this difficult time are:
-Keep visible conflict, heated discussions, and legal talk away from the kids.
-Minimize the disruptions to kids’ daily routines.
-Confine negativity and blame to private therapy sessions or conversations with friends outside the home.
-Keep each parent involved in the kids’ lives.
Adults going through separation and divorce need support — from friends, professionals, clergy, and family. But don’t seek support from your kids, even if they seem to want you to.
Breaking the News
As soon as you’re certain of your plans, talk to your kids about your decision to live apart. Although there’s no easy way to break the news, if possible have both parents there for this conversation. It’s important to try to leave feelings of anger, guilt, or blame out of it. Practice how you’re going to manage telling your kids so you don’t become upset or angry during the talk.
The discussion should fit the child’s age, maturity, and temperament. But it should always include this message: What happened is between mom and dad and is not the child’s fault. Most kids will feel they’re to blame even after parents have said that they’re not. So it’s vital for parents to keep giving this reassurance.
Tell your kids that sometimes adults change the way they love each other or can’t agree on things and so they have to live apart. But remind them that kids and parents are tied together for life, by birth or adoption. Parents and kids often don’t agree on things, but that is part of the circle of life — parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.
Give kids enough information to prepare them for the upcoming changes in their lives. Try to answer their questions as truthfully as possible. Remember that kids don’t need to know all the reasons behind a divorce (especially if it involves blaming the other parent). It’s enough for them to understand what will change in their daily routine — and, just as important, what will not.
With younger kids, it’s best to keep it simple. You might say something like: “Mom and dad are going to live in different houses so they don’t fight so much, but we both love you very much.”
Older kids and teens may be more in tune with what parents have been going through, and might have more questions based on what they’ve overheard and picked up on from conversations and fights.
Dawn Renken is a certified divorce coach (CDC) who can help you navigate this difficult time in your life. Not only does working with a divorce coach help to ensure all of your bases are covered throughout the divorce process, but they can also help you navigate the difficult emotions you are experiencing throughout this process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through your divorce and lessen the emotional impact on your family.
Divorce Attorney in Houston
Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case. We proudly serve the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.