The stress of divorce is expected between the divorcing parties, and it can often be a topic of conversation that lasts for hours. However, when someone asks how the children are doing, the parent often says they are working through it, and the conversation moves on. Moving past the shock, the sadness, and the sense of guilt a child may feel can last for years, often affecting him or her well past the teen years. When the Tampa divorce lawyer helps you finalize the proceedings, it is often just the beginning of a long battle of pain for your children.
1. Do Not Belittle the Other Party
You may be hurt, and you may feel anger, but those feelings should not be shared with your children because the little ones often find a way to blame themselves for your problems. Do not blame or call your ex-spouse names in front of the kids because they will become confused why someone they love is a bad person. Instead, ask your child how they are feeling and spend time listening. Try to support them emotionally and ask them what would make them feel better. Don’t be surprised if the answer is pizza or ice cream. Children don’t often know how to express their emotions.
2. Beware of Behavioral Changes
Consistency is especially important in helping the children cope with the disaster their life has become. Watch for regression in younger children and sudden emotional outbursts from mid-range youths. Viewing changes in the behaviors of older teens can be more difficult because they are more able to hide their emotions and may believe lying will protect you. Check for defiant acts, change in friends, and signs of depression.
Children are often seen as little sponges because they absorb and reflect back the parental emotions that surround them. That can be especially true after a divorce. To help your child work through the divorce with little residual baggage, talk to them, and listen. Don’t judge, don’t explain, and don’t interrupt. Just listen to their story because it is what they are feeling inside.