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Divorce is such a stressful process for yourself that it is possible to miss the signs that your children are also stressed. Children can express their stress through emotional outbursts and regression or retreat into states of depression and anxiety. When you are feeling stressed during your divorce, you are responsible for using coping mechanisms or seeking help. However, you should not expect your children to take the same personal responsibility. Unlike you, they have little control over the source of their stress. Instead, you must minimize the amount of stress that your children are exposed to.
One of your children’s main stresses during your divorce is their uncertainty about their future. They have many questions that they may be afraid to ask, such as:
These are the primary questions, though more mature children may also wonder about money. You should give your children an update when you have more definite answers to these questions. Until then, you can calm their worries by assuring them that you are trying to create a solution that will work best for them.
During a divorce, children are concerned about outcomes that will directly affect them. They do not want to know about the arguments that led to your parenting decisions or the status of your financial negotiations. They will either not understand what you are talking about or feel more stressed because of the conflict.
You and your spouse should protect your children from witnessing hostilities between each other. This goes beyond not fighting in front of your children. You should:
Your children need their time with you to be a positive experience, focusing on your relationship and their wellbeing.
Your divorce is causing changes in your children’s lives that are stressing them. Though changes are sometimes unavoidable, you should try to continue familiar routines when possible. Your children should feel they can rely on seeing you on a regular basis and for activities that you normally share. You may also need to create new routines to fit with your schedule. Try to be consistent in the new routine so that your children grow familiar with it.
Children of Divorce
The needs of your children are your top priorities during your divorce. A Kane County divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can help you create a parenting agreement that best serves them. To schedule a free consultation, call 331-588-6611.