Separation and divorce wreak havoc on the mental health of all parties involved. While adults can expect to experience difficulty recovering emotionally from a divorce, they are better able to process what has happened than children. The average child has a difficult time understanding and coming to terms with the dissolution of his or her parents’ relationship. It is common for children to experience depression, low self-esteem, and a withdrawal from social activities. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your children’s mental health during a divorce.
Never Make a Child Take Sides
Even if your children are aware of some of the problems that led to the divorce, it is unlikely that they fully understand everything that contributed to the divorce. For that reason, you should never force your children to take sides even if it seems obvious (in your opinion) who the at-fault parent is. Forcing a child to pick the side of one parent at the expense of the other can cause long-term problems as the child grows older and begins to learn more about relationships in general. Your children may begin to blame themselves for the divorce or seek to appease their parents instead of making decisions that are best for themselves and their own mental health.
Do Not Compare Them to Anyone Else
One of the primary causes of esteem issues in children is comparing them unfavorably to other children. Parents often use comparisons as a way to explain to children what it is believed proper behavior or accomplishments are. Unfortunately, these comparisons make children doubt themselves and their own self-worth. Do not compare your children to other kids their age, including siblings or other family members. Encourage your children to develop their own personality and help them gain confidence in their own abilities.
Divorce is a stressful time emotionally and financially. A loss of income or the added stress of legal expenses may cause an adult to work longer than average hours and spend less time with his or her children. Even if the children seem to understand, they may start to feel neglected and one way to counteract that is to praise them often. Telling your children that you are proud of them, showing interest in their activities, and praising them when they accomplish something will encourage them to focus on the good things in their lives rather than the divorce.
The Support You Need
No divorce is easy and when divorce is combined with becoming a single parent, things get more complicated. Having a divorce attorney who provides you with the support you need can make a difficult situation more manageable. The legal team at Vayman & Teitelbaum is here to provide you with the zealous representation you deserve. We tailor our approach to meet the needs of your case and help you through each stage of your case, providing you with the legal advice necessary to resolve things quickly. Contact one of our Atlanta metro area locations to schedule an initial consultation so that we can begin discussing your unique legal needs today.