Children are often unable to understand the reasons why their parents choose to end their marriages. Kids may experience confusion, anger and disappointment, and they may place the blame for the divorce on one parent. These feelings can be difficult to navigate, and it will be important for a parent to take steps to help their kids during this difficult time and provide them with as much stability as possible.
Helping kids during this time
Divorce brings changes, and these transitions may include a new home, new school or seeing one parent significantly less. These are all overwhelming things for a kid to grasp, and Virginia parents may find the following useful:
- Remember that kids lack the capacity to understand the complexities of adult relationships. Explaining the reasons for divorce may not be helpful.
- Kids may simply need their parents to listen and try to understand them, not respond emotionally or with matching emotions of anger or blame.
- Do not try to influence the child to shift blame to the other parent as this could cause long-term harm to that relationship.
Understanding and reassurance can be critical to a child’s mental and emotional health during this time, even if he or she places the blame for the divorce on one parent.
Helping a child move forward
One of the most important things for a child during a divorce will be security and stability. Kids will benefit from as much continuity of their normal lives as possible, and a custody and visitation plan should reflect that. A Virginia parent may benefit from working with an attorney who can help them navigate their emotions and make decisions that will be best for the kids.