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Protecting Children During Divorce

When divorce is on the table for discussion, one of the first issues that should be addressed is the well-being of any children involved. Divorce has proven to potentially cause issues for children as they grow, often manifesting itself in problems with peer-relation, self-esteem, poorer academic performance, aggressive behavior, health issues, and even depression. Though the process of divorce is inherently difficult for children, it is actually the parents fighting with each other that tends to have the most direct impact on them.

The following tips can help create a buffer between children and the problems their parents may be facing during divorce:

  1. Parents need to avoid criticizing each other in front of their children. They are a mixture of traits from each parent, and hearing these criticisms can take a toll on their self-esteem.
  2. Don’t use children as a way to get information about each other. They are not pawns, and the less they feel used as a part of their parents’ conflicts, the better off they are.
  3. Children need to know the divorce isn’t their fault. Many assume they are to blame for their parents’ hostility, so reassure them that they are loved.
  4. Each parent should encourage their child to see the other parent frequently, and should take steps to accommodate visitation.
  5. Be mindful that the children’s interests come before yours during the divorce, and be sure to make them feel loved at every opportunity.
  6. Many children have a natural tendency to try and act as their parents’ caretaker. Do not let them. Peers, adult family members, and health professionals should be the ones providing care. Children should be allowed to be children.
  7. Try to avoid uprooting children. Having a stable home and school life helps lessen the impact of their parents’ divorce. If a move can’t be avoided, make an effort to help children nurture their old friendships as well as create new ones.
  8. Take care of yourself. Your children will be depending on you after the divorce more than ever, so make sure you stick around. Eat well, sleep plenty, and exercise. Do not isolate yourself. Instead, spend time around supportive people. If depression or anxiety are ongoing problems, consider seeking out a therapist.

A divorce is seldom a pleasant experience, but having expert legal counsel on your side can make the experience much smoother. If you are considering a divorce, contact the BCN Law Firm in The Villages today at (352) 775-4739 for more information or to schedule a consultation.