While it can be beneficial in the long run for kids to no longer live in
a home filled with debilitating strife, a divorce will also certainly
be a traumatic experience for children, an experience that can affect
them their whole lives. If you are a divorcing parent, your chief concern
may be the affect your divorce will have on your kids. The good news is,
there is a lot you can do to shield your children from the divorce. Here
are several things to avoid and several things to do to help your kids
through your divorce.
1. Do not fight in front of the kids, if at all possible. Of course, you
are getting divorced for a reason, and conflicts will happen, but at least
don't put your kids in the crossfire. Keep them out of your arguments,
and do try to keep those fights out of sight and out of earshot.
2. Do not vent about your ex in front of the kids either. This will only
hurt them, and place in them in the awkward and painful situation where
they are forced to take one parent's side. Of course, this also means
that you cannot force them to take sides either, trying to poison them
against your ex. Not only will this strategy fail you, but it will hurt
3. In fact, you should not vent at all about the intense turmoil you may
be going through; you do not want to burden your kids with this. That
is what friends and family, and even a therapist, is for, and you can
get real help and encouragement from them.
4. Do not deploy your kids as spies. You do not want to interrogate them
about life over there or about your ex's new partner. Again, you do
not want to involve your kids in your personal conflicts.
5. Do not use your kids as a postal service either, shuttling them back and
forth with messages and money to and from your ex. The change in their
home life is already stressful enough. They do not need to be burdened
with the details of your
divorce in any way, nor do they need to be caught in the middle of any of your drama.
6. Do not give into the urge to shower gifts on your kids, taking them on
vacations and giving them expensive tech and toys. This cannot secure
their affection, and what your kids need is some downtime, some relaxing
time with you. They need you to be involved in their homework, in setting
up play dates, going to their games.
7. Be there to comfort your kids, always letting them know that you will
always, always love them. This also includes being there to hear them
out, if they want to vent, and not pressuring them to voice their feelings
either if they do not feel like it. You also need to make sure your child
knows that the divorce is absolutely in no way their fault at all.
parenting plan you have set up, follow it faithfully. This includes getting your kids
to your ex's on time, holding up your end of the agreement so that
your children can maintain a healthy relationship with both of their parents.
9. Your commitment to your children's health also includes allowing access
to their other parent, even when the kids are staying with you. Of course,
this is not possible in every situation, but if it is your child's
best interests, you should not bar them from texting your ex, sending
emails, or talking through Skype. They may need this communication frequently.
10. You also need to be smart about having your kids meet a new significant
other in your life. Your kids should really only get to know someone if
you and your partner's relationship grows serious. Even then, you
want to make the introduction in increments, and you do not want to introduce
your partner in your home either, somewhere that is highly personal for
11. Your kids also need routine. You want as little to change in your child's
daily life as much as you can manage this, keeping them at the same school
with their friends, uprooting them as little as possible from their old lives.
12. To be a good parent, especially a single-parent, means looking after your
own health too. You need to take care of your physical and emotional needs
so that you can be better equipped to help your children, and to set them
the example that they deserve to see in you.
Then there are legal processes through which to help your children, protecting
their future by upholding your parental rights. If you face issues of
child custody and
support in your divorce,
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today. And do not hesitate to contact us if your circumstances have changed
and you need to
modify any existing court orders. Perhaps you need to
relocate with your children, or maybe you need to object to your ex relocating
with the kids. Our Long Island divorce lawyer may be able to give you
the advice and representation that you and your family need, even in complex
situations. You can understand and protect your children's rights
when you work with an experienced family attorney from our firm. Call today!