Methods for Helping Your Gifted Child Understand Your Divorce

Methods for Helping Your Gifted Child Understand Your Divorce

So much of the time, we as parents worry about our children and how they view the world around them. What are we exposing them to that may be beneficial to them? What are the things they see, hear and feel that could potentially be harmful to them? Our lives move faster nowadays than our parents, and their parent’s generations before ours.

This holds true for our children, but it applies even more to academically and intellectually gifted children.

Although my children are not old enough for this blog post to directly apply to them, past clients have reported that gifted children often forge emotional ties and bonds with people and things that exceed those of other children of similar ages and developmental levels.

For whatever reason this is, the effect is that something were to come along and harm those bonds, such as a divorce, a gifted child may increase the actual impact of the divorce in their minds and make the situation worse or worse impactful than it is.

Seek to Mitigate Problems and Avoid Divorce if at All Possible

For this reason, before filing for divorce, it is typically a good idea to attempt to reconcile or seek counseling before taking a drastic step like filing for divorce.

There are circumstances, such as emotional or physical abuse, that require you to remove yourself and your child from the situation for safety reasons, and an immediate filing for divorce is justified. However, in other cases where the health and safety of your child or yourself are not in jeopardy, it is possible to mitigate problems by seeking out alternatives from divorce.

If counseling and therapy do not work for you and your family, then you and your spouse will need to work together to plan out some structure for your gifted child whenever they are at either of your homes. I have discussed in prior blog posts the importance of viewing stability and consistency in child-rearing as top priorities and goals for recently divorced parents.

This sort of stability in both of your homes will reinforce the concept that just because Mom and Dad no longer live in the same house, that doesn’t mean that the child’s life will change dramatically or that the love for the child is going to diminish.

Ensuring that both your and your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s homes are equipped with necessary textbooks and learning materials is essential for a gifted child, particularly if they thrive in structured environments filled with school work, study time, and extracurricular activities.

Despite the challenges of working and planning with someone you may currently have disagreements with, it’s crucial for you and your spouse to make the necessary sacrifices to maintain the continuity of these activities for your child. During and immediately after a divorce, it’s important to prioritize your child’s needs and interests over your own.

Manage the Complex Emotions of Your Child During This Time With Help From Others

Children of all sorts can display signs of feeling forgotten, unloved, or neglected during a divorce. A divorce can exacerbate these feelings for your family, especially when you have a gifted child who may be accustomed to receiving high levels of contact from both you and your spouse daily.

While many children retreat inward and cannot communicate effectively, gifted children often require an outlet for their feelings during a divorce and even afterward. If you and your spouse feel able to speak to your child about their feelings (and more importantly, if your child feels comfortable sharing their honest feelings with both of you), then setting up a time and place to do so consistently may be for the best.

However, it may be best to have a person outside of your family, such as a counselor, therapist, or religious leader, step into that role to allow your gifted child the outlet they may need to share feelings and emotions regarding the divorce.

Be Careful About How You Speak to Your Child With Your Divorce

It can be easy to fall into the habit of sharing “adult” information with your gifted child due to their ability to understand seemingly complex problems and situations that you run into in your daily life. However, in the context of a divorce, I would warn against this behavior.

For instance, if you feel the brunt of financial problems beginning to bear down on you due to attorney’s fees, child support, or other money considerations connected to your divorce, you may need to seek a friend or therapist yourself to share those feelings. No matter how intelligent, your child is not an appropriate person to share these feelings with.

Suppose your child was to ask you about the divorce. In that case, you can exercise your own best judgment in sharing information with them, taking into account their age, developmental level, and ability to process whatever you tell them. Honesty is crucial, but you should reserve the type of no-holds-barred, brutal honesty for your conversation with your friend or family therapist.

Your gifted child is still a child, and you should do all that you can to ensure that their childhood remains as free from grown-up problems as possible.

Questions on issues relating to gifted children in the context of a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

If you have a gifted child and would like to have your specific questions answered on this topic or any other in family law, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today. Our divorce attorneys work with clients on their divorce cases across our region and would be honored to do the same for you. A free-of-charge consultation is only a phone call away.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s essential to speak with ar Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Kingwood, TX, is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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