Best ways to help children cope during a divorce

Residents across New York turn to divorce when they and their marital partners can no longer live together in harmony. According to a study done by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, divorce rates have reached a 40-year low. A new rate of 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women shows a 25 percent decrease since 1980. Even with this decrease, many children are still affected by divorce. When a couple has a child, they often have to change their tactics slightly to ensure the needs of the kid are met.

Keep them out of the fight

One major pitfall many parents fall into during a divorce is involving their children in the fight. Those going through a divorce may want to avoid doing the following:

  • Asking the child to choose a side.
  • Grilling the kids for information about the other parent.
  • Badmouthing the ex in front of the son or daughter.
  • Using the child to hurt the other party.

Even though the marriage is being dissolved, the co-parenting relationship should continue whenever possible. In order for this to be possible, parents must avoid discussing custody and child support issues when the kids are around. When these issues are discussed, each side should keep the child as the center of the discussion to ensure his or her needs are put above everything else.

Help them find counseling

Divorce can cause stress for the entire family. While the parents going through a separation may turn to counseling groups and therapists to find support, kids can also benefit from this type of setting. Counseling can come from a therapist, pastor, teacher or family friend. Sometimes the child simply needs someone besides his or her parents to talk to about the concerns the divorce is bringing to light. Counseling can help curb unwanted behaviors caused by the new stressor.

Keep their structure in place

Parents often fall into the mistake of being lenient with their children to help them cope with the changes a separation can bring. However, this is not always what is best for those young members of the household. Kids need structure and consistency in order to thrive. For this reason, both parents should strive to keep the rules and schedules the same as they were prior to the divorce. This means the kids will have similar rules and routines in both homes, which can make them feel more secure even in the changing environment.

When New York parents get divorced, they need to do everything in their power to help children acclimate to the changing situation. Working with a lawyer familiar with family law can help the legal processes associated with a divorce and custody go smoothly.