Your children might be observant, intelligent people, but they are not adults. No matter how much they might seem to understand a particular adult issue, they can only understand it with as much fullness as their age level and maturity allows. If you recently informed your children that you have filed for divorce, they might have said that they understand, but that doesn’t mean they understand it in the same way you do.
Like all good parents, you want what is best for your kids. No family has a perfect life, not even those with parents whose marriages last a lifetime. Rather than centering your focus on the fact that your divorce is happening, it’s helpful to keep several things in mind as you provide love and support to your children while you all adapt to a new lifestyle.
Direct correspondence with your ex is best
It’s understandable that you might not want to see your ex on a daily basis after you finalize your divorce. While you negotiate child custody issues and after you sign an agreement, however, it will still be necessary to correspond with each other because you are co-parents. Sadly, many Texas parents fall into a habit of using their children as messengers when they don’t want to talk to a co-parent.
If your goal is to help your kids cope in a healthy manner, you’re better off delivering your messages directly to your ex yourself. Children often feel stressed and worried when they feel like their being put in the middle of an adult issue.
If you need counseling, see a therapist
It’s always good to keep lines of communication open so your children can share their feelings and emotions regarding your divorce. It can backfire if you turn to your kids for emotional support that you could better obtain in a therapy session. Sharing too much private information about your divorce may not only worry your kids but may also cause them confusion about being loyal to both parents.
Try not to over-question every visit they have with your ex
Both you and your ex will no doubt be curious about the time your kids spend with the other parent. Children may cope a lot better if they feel like you’re okay about that time. On the other hand, if you grill them with questions every time they come home after they’ve been with your ex, it might make them feel uneasy.
Divorce mediation helps resolve many issues ahead of time
Your divorce doesn’t have to involve contention, especially if you and your ex are willing to peacefully discuss child custody issues and cooperate or compromise as needed to develop a co-parenting plan in an amicable fashion. When avoiding confrontation and helping kids cope are primary concerns, many parents choose to mediate rather than litigate a divorce.