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How do you manage a child’s emotions during your divorce?

Parents who are divorcing have to pay attention to how their children are faring during the process. This is a major change for the kids and some may not be able to cope with it. Watching for signs that the children are struggling can help the parents know when they need to step in. 

It behooves everyone if parents can work together as a team to make decisions about their children. Being able to communicate with each other can also help them to make things as stable as possible for the kids. Here are two other tips:

Model appropriate behavior

Your children will learn about appropriate behavior by watching you. If you’re letting everything get to you, they may think that lashing out is what they’re supposed to do. Instead, try to model stable behavior, including how to work through contentious situations. Discuss your emotions in an age-appropriate manner so they can start to learn more about normal feelings. 

Get help from other adults

Other adults who have contact with the children can help tremendously if they’re trusted adults. Consider talking to teachers, coaches and others who can keep an eye on the child’s behavior. Some of these might even be able to be a sounding board for the kids if they need someone to talk to. 

It might be necessary to bring in professionals to help. If children are showing signs of depression or having an unusual amount of trouble adjusting to the new situation, they may need mental health assistance.

Take the time to work out a solid parenting plan with your ex. If you can work as a parenting team while you’re getting this done, you’re setting the foundation for the future parenting relationship. If the child’s needs change in the future, you can always seek a modification of the order. 

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