Divorce is tough on everyone involved, especially children. They don't usually have a say about how things end up, and dealing with such a huge life change without any control over those changes can quickly induce stress, psychological pain, and emotional discomfort. Here are three things you can do to help lessen the burden on your kids during and after your divorce:
Take Advantage of Mediation Services
With a legal representative by your side, you and your soon to be ex-spouse can avoid the hassle of going to court and settle your differences privately in a mediation setting. This is where a professional third party mediator serves as an unbiased support center so you can resolve any hairy issues that might be lingering and negotiate things like child custody and splitting up assets.
Because problems tend to get resolved rather than set aside during the mediation process, there is often less bickering and resentment to affect the kids overall. In addition to nurturing a supportive situation for the kids, there are other benefits of divorce mediation such as:
- It is less expensive than a court battle.
- Each meeting is confidential and stays out of public record.
- You control the process, not the court system.
- Lawyers, like ones at Valerie Family Law, are usually more affordable when hired for mediation representation as opposed to court services.
Mediation services also have the ability to help you work through problems that may have been brewing for years so that you are less likely to have issues when dealing with each other in the future.
Invest Time in Regular Therapy Sessions
Many children who feel angry or upset about their parents divorcing tend to think that their own feelings just put more of a burden on the situation so they hold it all in. Therapy is helpful for children of all ages because it gives them an outlet for the personal feelings and emotions they are too afraid or ashamed to share with people they know.
There are several types of therapy available that are designed to specifically help children work through their emotional instability including:
- Play Therapy – Toys, blocks, and sometimes sand is used to help children identify and then verbalize their deep-seeded feelings.
- Family Therapy – Children and their close family members open up to one another with the help of a third party support system.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy – Professionals work to identify distorted thinking patterns to help children combat depression, anxiety, and other emotional troubles.
You may find that both personal and family therapy is helpful for your children because they have an opportunity to express themselves in a variety of safe environments. Family therapy will allow you to gain deeper insight into the extent of your children's discontent so you can better support them.
Make Sure Communication Stays Wide Open
It may be tough, but making a point to keep communication open with your soon to be ex-spouse for your children's sake is essential. This is the only way to ensure that your children's needs are kept ahead of anything else and to minimize the stress and pain they go through both during and after your divorce. Successfully co-parenting comes with a myriad of benefits:
- It helps your children feel more secure in their relationships with both parents.
- Children benefit from stability.
- Problem solving and cooperation becomes easier and more rewarding over time.
The easiest way to make sure that your communication is always positive and open for parenting purposes is to separate your feelings from the way you react to any situation.
Stay focused on your kids and take the time to relax with a few deep breathes before you start any negotiations with their other parent. If you find it too tough to communicate and cooperate without conflict, don't be afraid to use your lawyer as a mediator during meetings with one another.
These techniques will enable you and your children to maintain a healthy relationship throughout such a difficult time, and can hopefully help you figure out how to work with your soon to be ex-spouse in order to effectively provide your kids with the support they need.