No matter how big or small the conflict is between spouses in a divorce, the impact on children is never a positive one. Therefore, it’s always important to try to minimize the impact these difficult times have on them.
A child will never be fully ready for what’s in store for them, which may include some or all of the following:
While you can expect some level of emotional trauma for your child, being aware of what can negatively impact your child and doing your best to shield them from it can help minimize that trauma.
Kids will likely be aware of more than you realize. With this in mind, don’t keep your child completely in the dark. You need to strike a balance between protecting them from the trauma of hostile divorce proceedings and acknowledging what they are likely observing and feeling.
While they may be perceptive, their immature minds are not equipped to fully understand what is going on. You can provide comfort by assuring them things will be okay, but be mindful to not bad-mouth your spouse. Stick with age-appropriate topics and don’t go into too much detail, or you run the risk of making them anxious. Use general phrases that with less emotional charge, like “mom and dad just don’t agree on certain things.”
If you have a relatively decent rapport with your spouse, try to address these issues together. However, if your relationship has been too damaged, doing your best can still have a positive impact on your child. Always approach your interactions with your children with empathy. Remember how they process information differently than adults and that the primary things they require from parents are the assurance of safety, security, and unconditional love.
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