You don't need to read a blog post to know that your divorce will be difficult for your child. Children thrive on stability and consistency in all facets of their lives. When those characteristics are removed, their behavior and outlook may change significantly from what they once were.
The worst part is that your divorce probably has little to nothing to do with your child and everything to do with the relationship between you and your spouse being flawed beyond repair. Now that the decision has been made by one of you to file for divorce, you can try to help the divorce occur as quickly as possible so that you and your child can move on with the rest of your lives.
While coping techniques for adults are widely promoted and encouraged- such as attending counseling and therapy sessions, meditation, seeking solace in friends and family- we often think of our children as being resilient and able to "bounce back" from emotional setbacks like their parents getting divorced. From my experience working with parents going through a divorce, I can report that this is not always the case.
We will discuss in this blog today tips to help your children make their way through your divorced and, out the other side, the same happy, well-adjusted child that they were before the divorce began.
Keep your legal matters between you and your spouse.
Never, ever discuss your divorce case with your child. For one, there are likely temporary orders in place in your case that bar you from doing so during the divorce. Once the divorce is finalized, your Final Decree of Divorce will do the same. While seemingly mature in some areas, your child is not going to be able to understand and contextualize your divorce as an adult would.
Furthermore, while you may be looking for a person to talk to during the divorce, do not seek out your child, no matter how convenient it may be. Confide in friends, family, members of your church, or a therapist. Let your child hang on to their childhood as long as possible, especially during a difficult time like a divorce.
Do repeat that you (and your spouse) love your child- no matter what
Unconditional love is a concept that parents know well, but children do not. Your child's emotional development is not near complete, and what's more, they likely feel especially vulnerable during the time in which you and their other parent are divorcing. Having a sit-down conversation with them to confirm how much you and their other parent love them can be incredibly important.
Reaffirming this love throughout the process can go a long way towards helping your child feel whole and cared for in this challenging time.
Stability and consistency don't have to go away during the divorce entirely.
At the outset of this blog post, I noted that children thrive on consistency and stability. While it is unavoidable that your child's life will change not only temporarily but also permanently as a result of your divorce, you and your spouse can make an effort to minimize those changes, at least initially. Allowing your child to remain in the home, attend the same school and participate in their normal extracurricular activities can provide your child a welcomed respite from the upheaval that may be going on in other areas of their lives.
An area that is, in my opinion, not discussed as much as it should be is the ability of your child to maintain relationships with members of both your and your spouse's families. It may be difficult for you to do, but I encourage your child to keep in touch and spend time with members of both sides of their extended families.
Again, it may be unrealistic to expect to spend the same amount of time with these people after the divorce, but those relationships provide a level of routine and stability for your child. Completely disregarding them during the divorce is an error that I believe is avoidable.
Begin to co-parent your child during the divorce- don't wait until it's over.
The months that your divorce lasts offers you and your spouse a "dry run" to co-parent together. I realize that attempting to work together with the person that you are divorcing may seem difficult- that's because it will most likely be difficult. Here's the thing, though- the unconditional love you have for your child that we discussed earlier? Your spouse has that same sort of love for your child. The faster each of you understands that, the better.
You and your spouse can work together to set boundaries and limits at each of your homes as far as what sort of discipline is appropriate when bedtimes are charged for and the correct language to use around family members. If you become the disciplinarian and your spouse decides to play the "cool" parent role, you will both be in for a disaster.
Working together to create a united front in terms of discipline can help tie together every tip we discussed today. Co-parenting may be an overused phrase nowadays, but it is critical to ensure your child lives their best life once your divorce is finalized.
Questions about divorce in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today.
If you are going through a divorce or considering whether or not to file, don't hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today. Our licensed family law attorneys represent people from all walks of life in divorce cases. A free-of-charge consultation is only a phone call away, where your questions can be answered in a comfortable environment. While no attorney can promise a perfect result, our office can promise that your interests will be advocated for above anything else.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce"
If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!"
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The benefits of not immediately introducing your children to your new love interest after divorce
- The effect of divorce on children: Helping your family maintain stability
- How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce
- How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce, Part Two
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- Were they married but dating another person during a Texas Divorce?
- How Can a Parenting Class Help My Ex-spouse Co-parent and Me in Texas?
- How to Co-Parent with an Addict Ex-Spouse
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- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- When Your Child's Extended Family Wants Visitation in Texas
- Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?
- In Texas, are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
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.