Helping Kids Cope With Divorce

School counselor Leslie King and teacher Daryl Sollerh offer some tips at the Huffington Post on how to help children cope with their parents’ divorce:

First, let’s face it: No one is a saint. No one is immune to the pain, challenges and uncertainties a separation or divorce can visit on a family — especially not children.

So even though mom and dad may be moving through some of the most potentially stressful and sad periods of their own life, they still are somebody’s mom or dad, and must try to find a way to help their child, even if they themselves feel as if they are not getting much help from friends or the world.

Should your child rage, do your best not to take it personally, even when it is directed at you. Try to give yourself the space and time to recognize that they too need to vent their feelings, especially the most gut-wrenching ones. It is better that they release the feelings inside them as best they can, instead of bottling them up, which could prove far more damaging in the long run.

Also, do not seek the emotional comfort from your child as a way to cope with your own pain. Seek out friends or counselors to help you with your needs so that you can offer your own child as much understanding and reassurance as possible.

Try also not to pit yourself against your ex, forcing either overtly, or covertly, your child to choose sides. It is so easy to do, and may even seem wholly justifiable, given how poorly adults can behave during such times. But it doesn’t help matters, and often only makes them far worse.

Should it be possible, seek out counselors who can help as you and your child make the transitions that the break-up of a relationship can cause.

Let your child’s school know, as appropriate, so that his or her teachers and deans will know the likely stress your child may be feeling.

Reserve some special, regular time to be with your child in which he or she can be assured of your attentive presence and ready ear. Together and over time, you can both develop ways in which you can address the inevitable changes in both your lives.

That said, hearing what they have to say may be upsetting, but this is nevertheless the kind of steady presence a parent can provide a child during times of transition. Remember, they may simply need to express their pain, and your compassionate understanding may well be the true reassurance they seek.

If you have questions on how an attorney can help facilitate an uncontested divorce, you may set up a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.

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