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Prioritizing Your Child’s Well-Being During A Divorce

Prioritizing Your Child’s Well-Being During A Divorce

Amidst the emotional turmoil and stressful changes that accompany divorce, it’s easy to lose sight of the needs of those around us. It’s only natural that we become defensive and focus on ourselves when challenging moments in life arise. While it’s crucial that we take conscious action to care for ourselves amidst the turbulence, it’s also imperative that your children’s well-being remains a priority before, during, and after the divorce is finalized. 

Divorce is emotionally draining for everyone, but unlike the coping strategies and emotional fortitude you have developed over a lifetime, your children may not have acquired these skills yet. The dramatic changes of divorce have traumatic potential, and the way you approach the changes should be handled with the utmost care. While it may not be easy to discuss the changes to come, proactively addressing these sensitive subjects with compassion and clarity can significantly reduce long-term emotional and relationship issues. 

So, what can you do to encourage a smoother transition, dissolve confusion, and reduce fears associated with the family changes to come? Take a few moments to consider these helpful ideas and develop your own plan to promote peace, transparency, and a healthier family dynamic moving forward. 

Create a Plan Before Sharing Details

Suppose you children are not aware of the pending divorce or separation. In that case, it can be beneficial to organize a list of reasons why you are separating and determine a co-parenting and living arrangement plan before including your children in the process. Of course, this is only a viable option if your children have not been exposed to your divorce discussions (or arguments) or are too young to understand what is happening. Why is this important? By ironing out the details before telling them about the changes, the hard-to-hear news can be met with reassurances about their routine, their living situation, and the fact that their loving relationship with both parents is not coming to an end. 

To create a plan that is consistent with your ideal outcome, divorce mediation can be a great first step in organizing a coherent co-parenting plan. Unlike traditional divorce proceedings which the courts determine, our neutral mediation sessions empower couples to create a mutually-beneficial plan that they can both agree with. Instead of fighting over custody rights or who will pay the childcare bills, we help you create a detailed plan that promotes amicable compromise and the well-being of you and your children.

Discuss the Changes & Encourage Honest Expression

After you have a clear plan in place, including your children in the process will allow you to answer questions, address concerns, and provide consistent reassurance throughout the process. While it may be tempting to downplay or ignore the facts until the changes take place, abrupt and confusing changes are more likely to cause lasting damage. 

While discussing the changes to come, do your best to: 

  • Reassure your children that they are not to blame while demonstrating unconditional love and empathy for any feelings they express
  • Adhere to your household routine as much as possible to establish a sense of stability in this time of uncertainty
  • Be honest about the changes to come and discuss why you and your spouse are seeking a divorce if age-appropriate 
  • Teach your kids healthy coping strategies and consider professional help; depending on your children’s needs, options such as mental health counseling and encouraging healthy hobbies may help to ease the stress or uncertainty

Continue to Promote Stability, Love, & Practice Self-Care

While it may be a challenge to manage your peace and sanity during divorce, maintaining a hopeful demeanor and demonstrating to your children that everything will be okay can shed a positive light on the entire experience. 

However complex the emotions or dramatic the changes may be, our unbiased divorce mediators are here to help you navigate the uncertainty with affordable and informative guidance. 

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