When parents decide to divorce and pursue separate lives during their child-rearing years, their children are often left with a severe sense of loss. If nothing is done to help them adjust and deal with these feelings during and after the divorce, the emotional trauma can cause serious issues that can affect them throughout their adult lives. To help avoid this type of problem, divorce attorneys often advise parents to seek professional counseling for all parties. In addition to counseling, parents can also help kids adjust and deal with the divorce in a healthy manner by implementing one or more of the following practical, proactive stratagies.
Maintaining Residences Within the Same School District or Neighborhood
When employment and other obligations permit, having both spouses choose to reside within the same neighborhood, apartment complex or school district is an excellent way to help kids maintain and grow their relationship with both parents. If possible, parents should allow the children to furnish a bedroom and keep clothing, toys and personal possessions at each home, so they feel equally comfortable with each parent. If either parent is involved in a relationship that includes other children, having a bedroom or private sleeping space at each home can also help to prevent any feelings of jealousy toward the new partner's children.
Maintaining Family Celebrations
Celebrations such as major holidays and birthdays can be awkward if both parents attempt to hold separate celebrations for each one. Instead, consider creating and keeping a new tradition of celebrating certain holidays jointly. These might include children's birthdays or one or more major holidays throughout the year. New spouses, partners and any step-children of either parent should also be included in these celebrations to help strengthen the extended family bond.
Maintaining a Journal
Many of the feelings that children deal with during a divorce and through the years afterward are often kept bottled up inside them, even when counseling is involved. Parents can help children of all ages express these feelings by teaching them to spend a few minutes of each day quietly reflecting on their lives and recording their feelings in some type of journal. Very young children may wish to draw as part of their journaling experience, while older children may wish to keep a blog, video or photo journal instead of a traditional version. Encouraging this type of expression will allow kids to utilize creative expression to help deal with their emotions in a healthy, productive manner.
For more information on divorces, visit http://www.glfamilylaw.com.