August 8, 2017

Supporting kids’ emotional health during divorce

As a parent, the emotional well-being of your children is generally top of mind. When you and your spouse have made the choice to end your marriage, it is only natural that you would then be concerned for your kids’ health and feelings. While a parental divorce can be upsetting for children, there are ways you can help them and support them emotionally during and after the process.

The American Psychological Association explains that, barring circumstances like those involving abuse, maintaining strong relationships with both parents is important for kids. As a parent you can help support your kids’ ongoing relationship with their other parent by always speaking positively of that parent. Similarly, you should work to avoid speaking negatively about or to your former spouse if the kids are within earshot or visual range.

Showing your kids that both parents remain committed to them can be done by collaboratively working with your kids to share news about the divorce and associated changes together rather than individually. Communication channels should stay between the parents rather than from one parent to the other via the kids as this approach only makes kids feel in the middle and can create inner conflict and turmoil for them. Positive interactions with extended family can also be beneficially for you and your kids at this time.

If you would like to learn more about how to help your children during and after your divorce from their other parent, please feel free to visit the divorcing parents page of our Michigan divorce and family law website.