Children may be profoundly affected by their parents’ divorce. Parents should reassure their children that they are loved and treat each other with respect.
For parents going through a divorce in Florida, it may be difficult to imagine ever getting along, even for the sake of the children. However, it is vital that parents at least try to treat each other civilly in front of the children, no matter how bitter their emotions are toward each other. Children are often profoundly affected by their parents' divorce. The emotional pain can last for years. However, when parents present a united front after a divorce, are supportive of each other and sensitive to their children's needs, their children stand a better chance of healing.
How can parents break the news of a divorce to children?
According to Web MD, children of different ages process divorce differently. Older children tend to become more independent and may blame their parents for the split. Younger children may regress to earlier stages and become dependent on their parents and other adults for comfort. Consequently, telling children about ending a marriage can be tricky. It is important to reassure children of all ages that both parents will always love them and that they are not at fault for the divorce. Older children may have their questions answered in age-appropriate ways, but younger children can be spared the details. It is most important to reassure children that although the next few weeks or months may be difficult, their parents will attempt to make their lives as normal as possible and be there for them.
Effective ways for divorced parents to treat each other
Parents may dislike each other after a divorce, but it does not mean that they should expose their children to conflict. According to Kids Health, it is important for parents to speak to each other with respect while the children are around. They should not bad-mouth the other parent to the children or complain about adult matters, such as child support or visitation conflicts. It is also detrimental to children's emotional health to use them as go-betweens or as tools to hurt the other parent.
Successful co-parenting after a divorce
There are several things divorced parents can do that may improve their relationships with their children and each other. These include the following:
- Involve the other parent in decision-making and activities regarding the children.
- Attempt to get along with each other and be courteous of one another's feelings.
- Make efforts to allow children to spend time with the other parent, and be positive about the time they spend.
- Stick to household rules and routines, but do not be critical of the other parent's routines as long as they are not harmful to the children.
- Be open to adjusting parenting arrangements as the children get older and their needs change.
When parents are able to set aside their differences and get along for the good of the children, they may find that they can become friends in time, or at the very least, learn to respect each other and their different roles in parenting. It may help to speak with an experienced family law attorney at Brandon Family Law Center, LLC about effective ways to address parenting conflicts.