Approaching children about divorce and child custody decisions
Readers from Orange County may observe that parents who decide to divorce often devote a special amount of attention to child custody. Because child custody will establish how much time each parent is allowed to stay with the child, child custody disputes in a divorce can sometimes be contentious. Determining child custody should be in the best interests of the child, however, these decisions can still greatly affect the child, as seen in a recent story told in a news article.
The story is about a seven-year-old girl who experienced her parents’ divorce. The girl felt that her fight with her brother during dinner and the following argument between her parents was the cause of her parents declaring their separation a few months later. The child’s lack of understanding of the situation led her to blame herself about the divorce of her parents. Unfortunately, the girl’s parents never explained to the child about why they decided to divorce.
Because parents often struggle with their emotions and conflicts in divorce, the situation may happen to any household. Still, it is up to the parents to explain and assure their children about normalcy after divorce. Both parents need to work together to devise a plan to be able to announce the separation in a caring manner. Doing this may help the child get through the divorce without the trauma. During this time, it is important for the parents to communicate and support the child emotionally, especially when the child asks questions about visitation rights or parenting time.
Even after divorce, parents should never belittle or blame their former spouse in front of their child. Such actions may only damage the child, as well as the relationship of the child to the parents. The child should only be assured that the mother and father will still love and care for them even after they have gone their separate ways.
Source: Huffingtonpost, “Telling Your Child About The Divorce,” Edward D. Farber, Jan. 18, 2013