If you’re preparing to or have just recently informed your children that you’re getting divorced, you might be a bit worried about their potential reactions. While you understand that filing for divorce is an adult issue, you also want what’s best for your kids and hope they have adequate coping skills because you know your decision will disrupt their lives.
Your kids’ ages at the time of your divorce may be significant to the types of reactions they have and emotions they experience as you all search for a new normal together in your day-to-day lives. Setting up a strong support network from the start is often key to helping Louisiana children come to terms with life-changing issues such as divorce. Children are typically highly adaptable, meaning with love, encouragement and support, your kids will likely be able to move on in life in a productive and healthy manner.
Being upset is a natural reaction for kids
It wouldn’t be realistic to think children should be able to cope with their parents’ divorce without experiencing any negative emotions. In fact, most kids are upset when they learn that their parents will no longer be living together under the same roof. However, a temporary disruption in a child’s life doesn’t necessarily mean his or her life will be sent down a negative path.
Fear of abandonment, worrying about having to relocate or going to a new school, and other issues are common causes of stress for children in divorce. By allowing their emotions to naturally unfold and helping them address any problems or concerns, one at a time, you can give your kids the tools they need to overcome the difficult aspects of the situation.
Separation anxiety in younger children
If you have toddler-age children, you may already have noticed that they experience separation anxiety when you or your spouse are away from them for a time. Divorce can definitely intensify their level of anxiety. The more predictable and reliable your toddler’s daily life schedule is, the easier it might be for him or her to adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle.
Most Louisiana judges agree that children fare best when they have the opportunity to spend lots of time with both parents after divorce. If you and your co-parent are willing to cooperate and compromise to achieve such goals, you’ll be doing your children a great favor.
Older kids may show signs of distress at school
It’s typically a good idea to inform your children‘s teachers about your divorce. This allows them to keep watch for any signs of distress at school, such as a sudden drop in grades or poor academic performance in general. Children going through divorce may also exhibit behavior problems at school. Working as a team, you and your children’s teachers can provide encouragement and support for your kids.
Some children find it helpful to speak to their school guidance counselors or to a licensed child psychologist if they’re having trouble adapting to their parents’ divorce. You might even want to research what community resources are available in your area, such as support groups designed specifically for families of divorce.
A word about parental conflict
It is true that witnessing parental conflict can cause children‘s stress levels to soar. It’s also true that divorce isn’t easy and parents may have trouble resolving certain legal issues. If you and your ex disagree about child custody, child support or other legal matters, your kids might pick up on the contention between you. Communicating to them that your divorce is not their fault can help ease some of their tension.
Many Louisiana parents turn to experienced family law attorneys to help them resolve legal problems in as swift and amicable a manner as possible. This can help keep stress levels low and significantly increase the odds of finding solutions that protect the children’s future best interests.