How to Help Children Cope with Divorce
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process for all involved, especially children. As a parent, it’s important to understand how to help your child process, understand, and cope with the substantial changes that tend to accompany divorce.
From child custody to property division, there’s a lot to think about after deciding to end a marriage. Given the immense pressure and stress that parents are often under during divorce proceedings, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed or even incapable of helping children process such a major life event.
Fortunately, there are various resources available that can empower Orange County parents to help their children adjust to a new "normal" post-divorce. Keep reading to learn 3 ways that parents can help kids cope with this difficult life season.
3 Ways for Parents to Help Kids Cope with Divorce
More likely than not, your family is bound to experience some bumps in the road after a divorce. Because healing is never a linear process, it’s completely normal for children to experience an unpredictable variety of ups and downs, especially as they continue to adapt and process new emotions.
Keep in mind that each child copes differently with divorce. Factors like age, personality traits, and other unique needs often play a crucial role in what your child needs from you. Some children may require more time than others or benefit from additional resources, such as counseling or therapy, in order to work through their feelings.
As a parent, it is important to remain patient and understanding during this time while providing your child with the necessary tools they need to heal and move forward in life after divorce. Consider the following 3 ways that parents can help identify and meet their child’s needs after a divorce.
1. Help your child understand that the divorce isn’t their fault.
First and foremost, it is essential to explain the divorce to your child in an age-appropriate manner. Be sure to reassure them that they are still loved by both parents, regardless of the separation. It is also important to be honest when talking about the divorce and make sure not to blame either parent for the dissolution of the marriage.
2. Encourage your child to embrace a social support system.
It may also be helpful for your child to have access to outside support systems. There are various support groups specifically designed for children going through difficult seasons like divorce—and better yet, some of these programs are free, meaning your child can participate with little to no cost to your family.
These programs can provide a safe space for kids to talk openly about their experiences and emotions while getting support from other kids who are going through similar situations. The ability to connect with peers and relate to others’ struggles can help kids feel less alone and empower them to identify and understand their own emotions, in addition to connecting and empathizing with others’ emotions, too.
3. Be honest.
Although it may sound simple, being honest with your child (to an age-appropriate extent, of course) is an integral component of the healing process. While it’s important for parents to “be the parent”—meaning that they have the final say in what is best for the child’s safety and wellbeing, even if the child is unwilling or unable to realize it—it’s equally important to be human.
Being open about your thoughts and feelings can teach your child that it’s okay to feel big emotions, and more importantly, that it’s possible to process, learn, and grow from them. Modeling healthy behaviors for your child is key to their development and adjustment going forward. The mere act of being human can teach kids that adults feel pain, too, and that it’s okay for children to seek out adults for help and support when needed.
Strong Representation for Families in Orange County
While divorce is hard enough on its own, it can often lead to a multitude of related issues, from child custody to complex property division to visitation rights. At Burch Shepard Family Law Group, we’re sympathetic to each family’s unique needs during this difficult time.
For many, divorce is one of the most challenging life seasons they’ll encounter. In addition to emotional hardships, many Californians struggle to navigate the complexities of family court on their own—and understandably so, given that family law is one of the most intricate areas of our justice system.
Whether you’re undergoing a divorce, legal separation, or other family matter, it’s crucial to turn to a dependable family lawyer who can guide your steps and help you fight for a favorable outcome in court. Turn to a family law firm you can trust to prioritize your family’s needs from start to finish. Unlike other firms, our attorneys exclusively practice family law, giving our attorneys an edge in the courtroom.
With over 100 years of combined experience, our compassionate family lawyers are well-equipped to help you navigate family court in Orange County. Call (949) 565-4158 to schedule a consultation.