Helping children process the realities of divorce

Divorce is a time of transition, and can bring on a number of challenges to all involved. Parents who are ending their marriage can easily become so focused on the details of the divorce that they do not give the proper weight to the impact that divorce can have on children. It is important for parents to take the time to help guide their kids through the divorce process, and ensure that they feel supported and loved throughout this period of transition.

One way that parents can make the process a bit easier for their kids is to keep the lines of communication open. While children do not need to know every detail of their parents’ divorce, they can benefit from knowing how the process is progressing and how the outcome will affect them. It is especially important to let them know where they will be living, and how often they will be able to spend time with the non-custodial parent.

It is also imperative that kids are left out of any contention that may arise between their parents during the divorce. The end of a marriage can dredge up a wide range of emotions and resentments. These are adult matters, and kids should not be burdened with the issue that their parents are struggling with. Neither should they be used as pawns between warring parents.

While divorce can be a difficult time for parents, it is absolutely essential that the focus remains on the needs of the children. As the process moves forward, there will be numerous decisions that have to be made, the outcome of which will affect the lives of both parents and children. The best way for parents to preserve stability is to strike the right balance between keeping their children informed and not overburdening them with too much or inappropriate information. This is often easier said than done, and many Maryland families can benefit from seeking family therapy during the period of divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, Helping Your Children Get Through the Crisis of Divorce, Michael S. Broder, Ph.D., Oct. 2, 2013

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