No one can debate the fact that divorce is a traumatic event for those who are involved, including any minor children. Texas divorce rates follow roughly the national average, which some estimate at about 50 percent. As much as people hate to face such difficulties, they can only put their best foot forward and do what they must to make the outcome easier for all.
The following are some general tips for assisting one’s children to get through the trauma both during and after a divorce. One can start with understanding that all children will be impacted but some more outwardly and in a visible manner. Assume that feelings are on a roller coaster with all older children and treat them with considerable care and direct communications.
Children must be regularly assured that the divorce is not their doing, and that it is on the parents and not them. Children can seize onto a wide spectrum of self-denigrating defense mechanisms. Gently and compassionately explain to them that their self-confidence and creativity are not in question. The best solution to the attack on a child’s sense of self-confidence is to have continued strong communications with both parents.
Those communications must be objective and on a respectful level of understanding. The children will feel worse and may develop permanent insecurities by being further dictated to by one or both parents. When possible, a meeting with both parents to reassure the children, especially in the early days of the separation, could be a game-changer.
The main topic at such a co-parenting meeting may be communicating that they are loved equally by both parents, and that things will not change drastically going forward. A concerted, unified front by the parents, though rare in some quarters, is the best way to assure children that life will not be so bad going forward. In Texas and elsewhere, there is an ample supply of professionals who can assist families in solidifying their family structures during and after the divorce process.