The effects of divorce on children are unavoidable. However, parents in New York can help their children cope and adapt to the changes resulting from it. Parents might need to put aside their differences to show their children they are still committed to their family, but this effort will help the children learn to adapt and continue to grow healthily.
What can parents do?
Whether the divorce came as a complete surprise or they expected it from the conflicts they had witnessed, children are bound to have a variety of reactions. The way children deal with their parent’s divorce might change from day to day, but the parents can provide some consistency in their support, helping the children work through these changes. Some of the things parents can do to comfort their children through the end of the marriage include:
• Presenting a united front to reassure the children that they are and will continue to be involved in their lives
• Agreeing to a story about why the marriage ended that avoids putting the children in a position of feeling like they need to take sides
• Allowing the children to ask questions and providing honest, if simple, answers
• Keeping as many familiar activities and routines as possible to minimize the changes children will experience
It might take a while for children to overcome the effects of the divorce
Just like adults, children process experiences in their own time. For this reason, parents will need to continue to provide this type of support even after the divorce is finalized. As children grow, they might have new questions about their parent’s divorce and parents will need to continue addressing these concerns.
It is important for parents to take care of their children and themselves as the divorce unfolds. The goal is for the children to understand that while the marriage might be over, the family continues.