Three Critical Factors to Help Children through Divorce

As the close of 2015 approaches with the start of the holiday season, most of us turn our thoughts to our families. For couples going through a divorce, November can signal the start of an extremely difficult time.

Divorce exacts a heavy emotional toll on the parties. Sometimes, we become so focused on our own problems with we forget that our children are also experiencing varying levels of the same anxiety, fear, and stress. Here are three things that we, as parents, can do to help our children cope with the emotional trauma while also giving us the chance to bring some calm and order into our own lives by taking the focus away from us.

Single mother comforting sad children - William Strachan Family Law
Talk to the children, but understand their concerns

Explaining the concept of divorce to a four-year-old that probably does not have a firm grasp of the whole concept of marriage is a waste of time and will only add to the child’s confusion. Instead, parents getting a divorce in Santa Ana should try to focus on the following:

• Keep it neutral: Telling children that, “Mommy and daddy are not going to be together anymore because we cannot get along,” is a simple explanation that does not point the finger of blame at anyone.
• Reassure them: Children have a tendency to blame themselves for the fact that mom and dad are splitting up. Letting them know that their parents love them and that the divorce is no one’s fault addresses two concerns most children will have when their family structure changes.

• Explain the changes to come: Anticipate the fear children have about losing the security of the family unit and reassure them that both parents will remain a part of their lives.

Maintain consistency in their lives

Routine is comforting and adds a sense of security to our children’s lives. Both parents should work together to maintain consistency as far as rules, discipline, and rewards. Parents need to support each other, particularly when it comes to discipline. One parent should not be the bearer of gifts while the other parent becomes the disciplinarian enforcing the rules.

Two Children Victims of Divorce - Law Offices of William Strachan

Do not involve the children in the fight

It is only natural for tempers to rise during a contested divorce, but the biggest mistake couples can make is to argue within earshot of the children. Letting them hear their parents quarreling will only add to the stress and anxiety they are already feeling.


Are you going through a divorce and have questions? Call The Law Offices of William Strachan at (714) 841-1931 or visit our website.