Children can be a major casualty of divorcing parents. Both parents have concerns about the welfare of their children; however, quite often it is the children that become the silent sufferers of the process. They become pawns in the game of “one-upmanship” between battling parents, and victims to the fallout of the divorce. It is critical that their physical and mental wellbeing become a focal point of concern for both parents. Working with your attorney in developing a good parenting plan will go a long way to alleviating this problem.
It is Not Their Fault
All too often, children of divorcing parents are used as instruments of punishment by their parents, because of the love each parent has for their child. It’s all too easy to hurt your “soon to be ex-spouse” by withholding visitation, arguing with or demeaning your “ex” in front of the child. Remember, the child is an innocent bystander in all of this; it is not their fault that the marriage has descended to a level of disrepair. Do not treat them like they are the problem.
When Your Child Acts Out
It is important to take note if your child shows signs of “acting out,” either at school or at home. “Acting out” can be seen in the form of withdrawal, temper tantrums, or moodiness, to name a few. If you observe any changes in your child’s appearance, mood swings, or conduct, this could be a “red flag” that your child is under stress because of the divorce. Parents should deal with this potential problem as soon as it is recognized.
Let Them Feel the Love
Your child needs to know that you still love them, and that love will not change because his or her parents no longer live together. If you can do that, you are doing well.
Providing a Safe Haven for Your Child
The goal, and often the main challenge of divorcing parents is to maintain a safe haven for their children amidst the turmoil of the divorce process.
After the divorce, you are in it for the long haul as parents, raising your children “together,” albeit from separate households. It is important that you create an environment in which your children can feel safe, and can thrive.
Develop a Parenting Plan
A good parenting plan is critical in creating a safe, secure place for your child. The main focus of any parenting plan is on the needs of the child. A parenting plan will cover custody, visitation, child support, etc., and is designed to provide the parents with a blueprint for creating that “safe haven” in which to raise their child, together. Parents must take responsibility for maintaining a friendly relationship with each other, for the benefit of the child. Not only will a good parenting plan be good for the child, but it will also be good for the parents by lowering your stress levels during the ongoing divorce process.
Keeping Stress Levels to a Minimum
Your attorney is there to help you keep your stress level to a minimum. If you find yourself in need of good family law advice, contact William G. Mayer at 864-984-9202.