Roughly 40 percent of children do not live with or see their father on a regular basis. Not having both parents in a child’s life can have a profound impact on that child’s ability to grow into a successful adult. However, there are things that a parent of either gender can do to make a divorce easier for a son or daughter to process.
Parents Shouldn’t Hesitate to Answer Questions
It is natural for children to have questions about the fact that their parents are no longer together. For instance, they may wonder why the divorce happened, if there is a chance of a reconciliation and if the divorce was their fault. Ideally, parents will reassure the child that the divorce was not his or her fault and that the marriage is likely over for good.
When a parent chooses to answer a question about the end of a relationship, it should be done in an age-appropriate manner. Furthermore, the answer should not paint the other parent in a bad light. Instead, it should focus on the fact that both parents are committed to being there for the child regardless of their feelings for each other.
Be Sure to Establish Consistency
If parents share custody of their children, it is important that they set boundaries and guidelines that are enforced by each person. For example, if bedtime is 9 p.m. at mom’s house, bedtime should be 9 p.m. at dad’s house too. A child custody lawyer may be able to help parents create a plan that can be followed and enforced at all times.
By creating boundaries, a child is less likely to misbehave or feel as if he or she can manipulate either parent. Parents are urged to stick to these rules even if they feel guilty about the breakup. While it is natural to feel empathy for what the children are going through, it does not mean that they do not have to act like civilized people.
Providing Distractions Can Be Helpful
Mothers and fathers can help their child through a divorce by creating distractions for him or her. For instance, a mother could organize a camping trip that lasts for several weeks over the summer. Furthermore, a father could organize a weekly trip to see a minor league baseball team to ensure that the child gets to see that parent on a regular basis. By giving the child something to look forward to, it can help a child adjust to his or her new reality without focusing on the negative event that took place.
Encourage Relationships with Both Parents
Children tend to do better in school and life in general when they have relationships with both parents. Assuming that this will not put the child in danger, be sure to encourage and insist on the child talking to the other parent as frequently as possible. Even if you feel like the other parent is unworthy of your attention, your focus should be on the child and his or her needs while growing up.
Take Care of Yourself
You cannot rely on your children to take care of your emotional needs after the divorce. Instead, you may want to find a therapist or some other source to vent to when you are feeling angry or upset. This will allow you to put on that brave face for your children when they are around.
Focus on the Positives of the Relationship Ending
Although a divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging in the short term, there can be benefits for both the adults and the children in the long term. For example, you may be happier that you are single instead of being in a mediocre marriage. Your child is likely to notice that you are happier, and your son or daughter will also benefit from the lack of drama that took place at home. If you or the child was a victim of abuse, getting out of a marriage by almost any means necessary may be ideal for yourself and for your son or daughter.
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in Jenkintown, PA, to help handle your case, turn to the law firm of Joanne Kleiner & Associates. Give us a call today for more information or to schedule a consultation. We can be reached by dialing (215)-886-1266 at your earliest convenience.