Parenting Tips for Divorced Couples
Parents often worry about how their children will cope emotionally and psychologically after a divorce. Those from divorced homes may wish to protect their children from the hardships they had to face. Parents from intact families may be concerned about how divorce will affect their child’s social and emotional growth and development.
While divorce can profoundly impact children's mental health, many will likely adjust well over time with the proper support. Following are some steps parents can take to help their children adapt to divorce.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your particular circumstances with a lawyer, contact our Edmonton divorce lawyers today to schedule a consultation.
Breaking Down The Negative Commentaries on Divorce
While some parents may see divorce as a personal failure, with over 40,000 occurring each year, divorce is simply a reality. Many relationships end. Divorce does not make you a bad person or a bad parent. Some psychologists argue that divorce can be healthier for children than continuing to live in a toxic marriage. Reframing the perspective on divorce may help parents reduce the negative self-talk that can undermine their emotional and mental health and affect how effectively they parent.
Promoting Healthier Dialogue On The Benefits of Divorce
Children often internalize the emotions of the adults around them. Therefore, it is helpful for parents to reflect on how their attitudes, words, and actions set the tone in the home. How parents talk about the divorce, their ex, and their hopes for the future, may affect how their children interpret the situation and cope with the divorce. It benefits children when parents remain positive and avoid speaking negatively about the ex or the divorce.
Prioritizing the Children’s Best Interests
Changes to the status quo can create uncertainty and unpredictability, especially when emotions are charged during a divorce. It is human nature to attempt to regain a sense of stability by asserting control. This can result in parental power struggles that are stressful for children, especially when parents - often unwittingly – use their children as pawns against each other. While it is easier said than done, it is helpful to try and set emotions aside when making parenting decisions, without putting children in the middle.
Maintaining Respect and Civility Towards Each Other
Remaining civil during a divorce can be challenging, especially if the separation is contentious. However, seeing their parents treat each other with respect is in the children’s best interest. Not only can this maintain a more harmonious tone, but it will also model mature adult behaviour for the children to emulate in future relationships.
Cultivating Effective Communication
Successful co-parenting is based on a foundation of good communication. There will likely be many decisions to make in the coming years, and the more parents and kids can talk openly with each other, the better. Children also need a safe place to express their feelings about the divorce. They may blame themselves for family problems and require reassurance that the divorce is not their fault.
However, while open communication is healthy, parents must also be wary of burdening their children with adult problems and emotions, or using them as an emotional crutch.
While divorce is a challenging time for families, it is the parents’ responsibility to prioritize their children’s best interests as they navigate this time of change.
Contact Our Edmonton Family Lawyers Today for a Consultation
Contact us today for more information and to schedule a consultation. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers will be pleased to discuss your specific circumstances and how we may be of assistance to you.
* Please note that the information in this article is not intended as legal advice but rather as a general overview of family law. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.