Divorce is a tricky matter, and when kids don’t always understand what’s going on, they can begin to blame themselves. Of course, it’s never their fault. There are a few things to help your child make it through the divorce process happy and healthy.
Honesty is the best policy
If your child is a teen, they’re likely old enough to understand what’s going on. That means they can tell if you’re not being honest with them. While you should never point fingers at the other parent, your child deserves to know some of the details.
This is not going to be an easy conversation to have, so try and sit down with the other parent and answer the questions that your child is likely going to be asking. A conversation between the three of you makes sure that no parent is blaming the other, and lets your child know that no matter what, they are the top priority. This can be difficult with younger children, but teenagers are generally well-equipped to have these kinds of talks.
Try not to bring up money with your child.
If the divorce is causing you to have to tighten your belt, don’t make the child feel responsible. Kids can’t work yet, so they will feel especially helpless if they see you struggling and cannot do much to help. It’s perfectly OK to bring up financially difficulties with your child- they will appreciate being trusted with this knowledge, just be careful not to imply that their actions are the reason for the issues.
This is more important when the issue of child support is brought up. Try not to let the kid be dragged into the middle, child support is an issue between the parents and a good child support lawyer, like the ones working at the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield. We can accidentally use child support as a weapon against the other parent, but we only end up hurting the kid. Keep things respectful and you child will be thankful in the future.
Don’t point fingers
Aside from the people getting divorced, children are the most affected by divorce. When you split from your spouse, you may want to vent to your child about the ordeal. You also may feel the urge to use your child as a form of emotional support.
While it’s great to be open and honest with your child, you never want to tear down the other parent in doing so. If you choose to confide in a child, do your best to focus on your emotions rather than insulting your spouse. This benefits the child in two ways.
First, they won’t feel torn in half between both of their parents, something that will always weigh heavily on their heart. Second, they will see the proper way to process their emotions. Children who see an adult dealing with their emotions in a healthy manner are more likely to practice those healthy behaviors themselves.