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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 that they see, hear and feel that could potentially be harmful to them? Our lives move at a faster speed nowadays than our parents and their parents generation’s before ours.

This is true for our children as well, but especially so for children who are gifted academically and intellectually.

While my own children are not old enough for this blog post to be especially applicable to them, I have heard from past clients whose children are gifted that these kids tend to feel emotional ties and bonds to people and things that are stronger than other children of similar ages and developmental levels.

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

Seek to mitigate problems and avoid a 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.

Obviously 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 situations where the health and safety of your child or yourself is not in jeopardy it is possible to mitigate problems by seeking out alternatives from divorce.

If counseling and therapy does 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 he or she is at either of your homes. As I have touched on in prior blog posts, stability and consistency in child rearing should be viewed 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 is going to change dramatically or that the love for the child is going to diminish.

For a gifted child, making sure that both your home and your soon to be ex-spouse’s home have the textbooks and learning materials needed for school is a good start. If your child excels in the classroom it is likely that his or her life is already structured to a fairly great extent with school work, study time and other extracurriculars a part of their daily lives.

If at all possible, you and your spouse should make the sacrifices necessary to facilitate the continuance of these activities. It may mean working together and planning ahead with a person you are not too fond of at the moment. Remember though, as a parent your interests and feelings take a backseat to that of your child’s. This is especially true in the time period during and immediately following a divorce.

Manage the complex emotions of your child during this time with help from others

Children of all sorts can show signs of feeling forgotten, unloved or neglected during a divorce. When you have a gifted child who may be used to getting high levels of contact from both you and your spouse on a daily basis these feelings can be exacerbated when a divorce becomes the reality for your family.

While many children retreat inward and/or lack the ability to communicate effectively, gifted children often require an outlet for their feelings during a divorce and even afterwards as well. 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 on a consistent basis 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 he or she may need to share feelings and emotion regarding the divorce.

Be careful about how you speak to your child in relation to 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 definitely warn against this behavior.

For instance, if you are feeling the brunt 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 out a friend or therapist yourself in order to share those feelings. Your child, no matter how intelligent, is not an appropriate person to share these feelings with.

If your child were to ask you about the divorce you can use your own best judgment on how to share information with him or her taking into consideration their age, developmental level and ability to process whatever is told to them. Honesty is important, but the sort of no holds barred, brutal honesty should probably be saved for the 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.


Adobe Stock 62844981[2]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

Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce
  2. How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce, Part Two
  3. Co parenting when you and your children live in different states
  4. How a Parenting Class Can Help Me and My Ex-spouse Co-parent in Texas?
  5. How to Co Parent with an Addict Ex-Spouse
  6. Post-Divorce Anger Issues: Co-parenting advice in difficult circumstances
  7. Co parenting when you and your children live in different states
  8. How Does Summertime Visitation Work for Divorced Parents in Texas?
  9. How does summer visitation work?
  10. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  11. When Your Child's Extended Family Wants Visitation in Texas
  12. Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?

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 important 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 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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