Getting divorced is never a fun experience, especially when kids are involved. Research shows that children of divorce may suffer academically, are more likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol, and more often show symptoms of physiological instability.
But there are some ways that you can lessen the stress so that your children are less likely to exhibit some of the problems that sometimes surface during and after divorce. Here are four effective options to consider implementing:
While it's important to work with a qualified lawyer to ensure that your personal needs are met throughout your divorce, it is a good idea to consider using mediation to work out the major obstacles between you and spouse. Mediation can help you save money, which is better spent on the kids' needs, on things like drafting papers for court. It also offers a variety of other benefits such as:
- Maintaining more control over child custody and other serious issues.
- Faster resolutions.
- Increased confidentiality.
Most importantly, mediation helps to protect your children from having to be interviewed during the custody phase of your divorce. It may even keep the kids from having to show up in court at all.
Get Involved in Therapy
An effective way to support your children throughout your divorce is to provide them with an outlet for their feelings through therapy. This gives them an opportunity to express their feelings in a neutral environment where they feel protected and listened to. There are several types of available therapy options geared toward kids such as:
- Play Therapy – Sessions are conducted with the help of toys, puppets, and games to encourage children to identify their feelings so they can be properly expressed and processed.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – The process involves identifying distorted patterns of thinking to improve emotional and behavioral stability.
- Group Therapy – Progress is made through regular sessions with peers who are going through similar situations in life.
It can also be helpful to schedule family therapy sessions periodically throughout and after your divorce so that you and your kids can work through some of the pain and anger together and build a stronger support system for one another.
Keep Communication Open
Communication is one of the important things your children have with their parents. Being able to express love and unity with one another helps to build a strong support system for the kids and gives them some stability in their lives. During your divorce, it's in the best interest of everyone involved to keep communication as open as possible.
If you aren't living with your spouse any longer, make sure that your kids have full access to conversations with the ex on a daily basis. Take the time to ask questions about their feelings at the end of every day that you spend with them. The more comfortable your children are at expressing their feelings, the less animosity and anger they are likely to build up inside.
Your children want and need to have both parents in their lives, so you'll have to find a way to allow open communication in a way that benefits you, your ex, and most importantly, your children. Here are some options that may work for you:
- Schedule a phone call between the kids and your ex-spouse or yourself once a day depending on where the kids are staying.
- Encourage letter writing on days when the kids are with you.
- Take photos and let your children make scrapbooks about their lives when spending time with you that can be shared with their other parent.
The idea is to ensure that your kids don't feel like they have to hide their feelings for either parent and that they don't end up feeling like they're not the top priority for either you or your ex-spouse.
With the help of these options, you and your children will have the support and flexibility that is needed to maintain strong family bonds and to create a solid support system that never wavers.
For more divorce help and tips, contact a local divorce lawyer or visit http://www.madisonlf.com.