The greatest concern of parents going through a divorce is not their own well-being but that of their children. Before making the decision to end a marriage, parents strive to avoid divorce—sometimes perpetuating their own misery and that of their children. Once the decision to divorce is made, parents will gladly follow almost any possible course to prevent their children from going through the inevitable sorrow and changes that lie ahead. Fortunately, there is good advice available from professionals who have worked with many different divorcing families concerned about the welfare of their children.
Help Making Good Choices
There is real wisdom in the old proverb, “it is better to come from a broken home than to live in one.” Beneath this insight is the notion that you must decide if your marriage can be reconciled or not. If it is possible, you and your spouse should devote yourselves to making that happen, probably with the assistance of a counselor you both respect. If not and if you have made the decision to divorce, then work toward the best separation and divorce agreement possible. Professional experience and insight are available here as well from firms such as Family Attorney Tampa Florida.
Helping Small Children
When you have decided to divorce, it is a good idea to share it with your small children and best if both parents can be together for the conversation. Be prepared for some real emotion and some tough questions:
- Why are you getting a divorce? Did I do something wrong?
- Who will I live with? Will I have to move?
- Will I lose my friends?
- What will happen on the holidays?
- Will you ever get back together?
At this point, honesty may be painful but will pay dividends going forward. Strive not to criticize or blame the other spouse, which puts children in the position of choosing sides. Do not attempt to explain things beyond their ability to understand.
Helping Older Children
When it comes to teenagers enduring the divorce of their parents, many of the same principles apply: honest answers to frank questions. Teens are famous for acting out in various ways to display their displeasure. Acting out, while you understand the source of it, should be dealt with immediately. One counselor has suggested that you should provide teenagers with a neutral third party whom they can trust and confide in. Believe it or not, it is helpful to plan activities in which you give your teenager your undivided attention.