5 Ways to Help Children Cope with Divorce
When a child's parents decide to divorce, this generally introduces a lot of changes to the child's life. Any period of change can cause stress and children are often less equipped to cope with stress when compared to adults. As a parent, it is up to you to help your children cope with your divorce. Our Edmonton family law lawyers may be able to help guide your family through the divorce process.
You can help guide your family through this process with these five ways to help children cope with divorce:
1. Know your rights and those of your child.
Your first step when contemplating a divorce should always be to ensure that you and your children are safe and cared for. An Edmonton family law lawyer can help you understand your rights and those of your children, which will provide the basis for a happy and healthy life after your divorce or separation.
2. Take the Parenting After Separation Course.
The province of Alberta provides a Parenting After Separation Course, which can be taken online or in person in Edmonton or Calgary. The relatively short course is mandatory for parents in certain situations, such as before filing for divorce or if ordered by a judge. However, even if you are not legally required to take the course, it is a good idea, particularly if you are concerned about helping children cope with divorce.
If you have taken the course already and feel that you could use additional guidance, a second course, entitled Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict, is available. This course builds on the first course to teach parents techniques for disengaging from the other parent and developing parenting plans in high-conflict families.
3. Work with the other parent to develop new routines.
New homes can cause your child stress, but developing new routines will go a long way to help the child settle in and accept those changes. If you and your co-parent can work together to develop a routine around the transition from one home to the other, that can go a long way towards normalizing the process of moving back and forth between homes and reducing your child's stress.
4. Be conscious of what you say to your child.
This is not limited to restricting yourself from saying rude or unkind things about your co-parent. It is natural for both you and your child to have feelings stemming from the divorce. Ideally, you should create an environment where your child is free to express their feelings and concerns about the divorce without making the conversation about you and your feelings. This can be challenging, and you may need support from friends, family or professionals.
5. Consider counselling for yourself or your child.
If you have specific concerns about how your child is coping with your divorce, counselling for yourself and/or your child may offer a solution. A counsellor may help either you or your child to deal with feelings of anger, reduce blame and develop techniques for dealing with stress.
Contact our Edmonton Family Law Lawyers Today For a Consultation
One of the largest causes of stress for children whose parents are divorcing is the unknown. The sooner you come up with a plan for how you and your co-parent will deal with the children going forward, the easier it will be on the children. Contact us today to discuss how an Edmonton family law lawyer may be able to assist your family.
*The information in this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of family law and divorce law and does not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, please speak with a lawyer.