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 is true for our children, but especially so for children who are gifted academically and intellectually.
While my 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 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. 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 will 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, likely, their life is already structured to a relatively great extent, with school work, study time, and other extracurriculars a part of their daily life.
If possible, you and your spouse should make the sacrifices necessary to facilitate the continuance of these activities. It may mean working together and planning with a person you are not too fond of at the moment. Remember, though, as a parent, your interests and feelings take a back seat to your child's. This is especially true in the 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 daily, these feelings can be exacerbated when a divorce becomes a reality for your family.
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 use your own best judgment on how to share information with them, considering their age, developmental level, and ability to process whatever is told to them. Honesty is essential, 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.
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:
- How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce
- How to help your children succeed in school after a divorce, Part Two
- Co-parenting when you and your children live in different states
- How Can a Parenting Class Help My Ex-spouse Co-parent and Me in Texas?
- How to Co-Parent with an Addict Ex-Spouse
- Post-Divorce Anger Issues: Co-parenting advice in difficult circumstances
- Co-parenting when you and your children live in different states
- How Does Summertime Visitation Work for Divorced Parents in Texas?
- How does summer visitation work?
- 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?
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.