Strategies for helping children cope with the divorce process

There are several things parents can do to help their children cope with an impending divorce.

After deciding to end their marriage, many parents in Pennsylvania worry about how their children will cope with the split. While they may still have a difficult time with the process, there are many steps parents can take to help their children adjust to the changes the divorce brings into their lives.

Remove children from the fight

How children adjust to post-divorce life is heavily impacted by how their parents cooperate and communicate with each other during legal proceedings. For this reason, parents should strive to remove their children from the fight as much as possible. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Do not force children to choose one parent over the other.
  • Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the children.
  • Avoid discussing child support issues in front of the children.

Parents should also avoid using their children to find out more about what the other parent is doing.

Provide reassurance

Parents should explain to their children that regardless of the divorce, they will always be loved by both parents. They should also explain to their children what their time with each parent will look like moving forward. For instance, parents may explain that they will spend every other weekend with their father and the rest of the time with their mother. Parents may also want to try putting up a calendar that physically illustrates how time with both parents will be split.

Give plenty of notice

Before one parent moves out, children should receive plenty of notice before that day arrives. Parents may also want to have their children visit their new second home before one parent moves out, so their children will feel familiarity and know where they will sleep. Additionally, parents may want to have their children help decorate and furnish the apartment with some of their possessions.

Maintain consistency

Parents may be tempted to weaken their home rules as their children grieve the divorce process. However, parents should remember that this could do more harm than good and lead to their children feeling insecure. Since children thrive on routine, structure and consistency, parents should try to maintain the same rules for bedtimes, mealtimes, behavior, etc. between both households.

Reach out to an attorney

These are just a few examples of what parents in Pennsylvania can do to help their children adjust to the divorce process. Parents should also reach out to an attorney in their area for legal assistance and helpful guidance as they move forward with their divorce.