10 Ways to Help Our Kids Survive a Divorce
Divorce is never an easy thing, and it’s made exponentially more difficult when there are kids involved. They get caught in the middle of what sometimes feels like a war zone. They are shuttled back and forth from one parent to the other, they may have to change schools and friends, and the divorce can leave the entire family in financial distress.
So what can we do to protect our kids as much as possible when a split is inevitable?
Dr. Phil passes along some good advice in an article titled “Divorce Survival Tips” and the site www.focusonfamily.com provides some great information about how to help kids through a divorce.
Here’s some of the advice they give:
- Try to work out a custody arrangement without involving the court.
- Don’t put kids in the middle of things. Don’t involve them in the decision to file for divorce. It’s going to be hard enough on them as it is without burdening them with details.
- Don’t alienate them from the other parent. It’s not good for the kids and should the custody battle wind up in court, judges don’t always look kindly on such behavior.
- Know that child support is mandated by law. Your spouse will be required to pay it.
- Be aware of the financial consequences and plan for them by doing such things as putting some money aside beforehand, making sure your name is on all things financial, knowing the who what where why and how of all assets, and removing half of all the money in all bank accounts.
- Find a support group for the kids. Knowing that they aren’t facing these changes alone can make a huge difference. Kids may feel a myriad of emotions ranging from anger to guilt to depression as a result of the divorce. A support group can help them with these feelings.
- Make sure the child knows that he/she had absolutely nothing to do with the divorce. All too often kids will blame themselves for the problems.
- Try to make changes slowly. Of course this may not always be easy, but to the extent it’s possible, changes to school, church, etc. should be done gradually.
- Give the child time to heal from the divorce before you start to date.
- Allow them to grieve the loss of their family structure.
Divorce isn’t just about the parents. Kids can get caught up in a whirlwind of change over which they have absolutely no control. They don’t need to be the ones providing the emotional support. They do need to know that what they’re feeling is ok and normal. They need consistency and structure, and most of all they need to know that they’re still loved no matter what and that things will be ok.
Written by: Tricia Doane, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Dr. Phil article source: www.drphil.com/articles/article/619