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Helping a child deal with divorce

Divorce can be difficult and emotionally taxing for everyone involved. Children are especially prone to post-divorce stress, often finding it hard to adjust to their new lives. In some cases, they may even blame themselves for their parents' separation. This makes it especially important for divorced parents to take the time and effort to ensure their children maintain mental and emotional health.

Parents who wish to file for divorce in Maryland can experience a number of advantages by consulting with an experienced family law attorney. A qualified lawyer properly represents a divorcing parent's best interests in court or settlement negotiations, allowing the parent to focus on his or her children and other important needs.

Experts recommend that parents always consider how their divorce may have affected their child's feelings. Parents may be able to relate emotionally to their child, but may also experience completely different feelings. Children may feel alone, angry, depressed or anxious about divorce, problems that can be assuaged by honest conversation with their parents. Open but child-appropriate communication helps children understand why divorce is necessary and how it will affect them.

Family experts also stress the importance of working together to develop effective co-parenting techniques. Divorced parents should try to agree on certain aspects of their child's upbringing, such as the enforcement of rules and how the child is to be disciplined. They should also make efforts to maintain normality in their child's life. If possible, parents should allow the child to stay enrolled in the same school, visit the same friends and participate in the same activities.

Good co-parenting also requires both parents to refrain from talking poorly about one another in front of their child. The NFRC director explains that such behavior can make a child "feel like a piece of them is being belittled and berated and taken away from them."

Source: Fox News, "How to help your child cope with divorce," Julie Revelant, Aug. 22, 2012

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