5 Key Strategies to Minimize the Negative Impact of Divorce on Children
Divorce can negatively impact the lives of children in a number of different ways. With this in mind, it is of paramount importance for divorcing parents to employ tactics that work to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children. There are five key strategies to consider utilizing in order to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children:
- Take time to talk
- Minimize conflict
- Maintain consistency
- Spend quality time with children
- Seek professional assistance
The list of ways in which divorce can negatively impact the lives of children is long – very long. Before diving deeper into a consideration of strategies designed to minimize the impact of divorce on children, we quickly overview a few of the more commonplace areas in which divorce came negatively impact the lives of children.
Emotional Stress: Divorce can be a highly emotional experience for children. These challenging emotions can include feelings of sadness, guilt, and anger. Children may feel like they are to blame for the divorce. In addition, children may struggle with feelings of abandonment or insecurity.
Academic Performance: Academic performance can suffer during a divorce due to several factors related to the stress of the situation. Children may have a hard time focusing on school work due to anxiety about their parents’ separation or because of distractions at home. In some cases, one parent may move away for work purposes which further complicates matters by causing a change in school district and necessitating travel arrangements between homes if shared custody is arranged.
Mental Health Issues: As mentioned previously, changes associated with divorce – such as living apart from one parent – can cause significant emotional trauma for children. This can result in long-term mental health issues like depression or anxiety disorders for some children.
We now move on to our discussion of key strategies to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children.Take Time to Talk
Make sure to take time and listen to your children's feelings about the divorce and other matters. This is an important step in helping them process what is happening without feeling overwhelmed or ignored. Ask questions about how they feel and provide reassurance and comfort when needed. Encourage your children to openly express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions as well as ask questions about the situation.Minimize Conflict
Another key strategy to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children is to strive to minimize conflict. It is important for both parents to try their best to minimize conflict between each other, especially when it comes to disputes in front of the children.Maintain Consistency
Ensure that both parents provide consistency when it comes to rules, boundaries, expectations, routines, and so forth. This helps create structure and stability for the children during an already chaotic transition period caused by divorce.Spend Quality Time with the Children
Each parent needs to spend quality one-on-one time with the children. Doing so shows that you love them unconditionally despite any changes occurring due to the divorce. Set aside dedicated moments each day or week where you focus solely on your child without being distracted by devices or other commitments. You also need to encourage and be supportive of your children spending quality time with the other parent.Seek Professional Assistance
Finally, sometimes talking with family members or friends may not be enough when trying to navigate through such difficult times. This includes situations involving children attempting to navigate the divorce of their parents. Seeking professional help such as talking with a counselor or therapist might be necessary if children appear to be having a particularly tough time dealing with issues associated with the end of your marriage.
In this regard, you might want to consider one-on-one counseling for your children. There might be some benefit to some family counseling sessions as well as a means of working to assist all family members to come to a better understanding of their emotions and how to deal with them at this time. Keep in mind that there are counselors that focus their professional efforts on working with families in times of divorce. Call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at 201 845 -7400 for a free consultation.