Children and divorce in Texas: Helping the kids cope with change

Going through a divorce may be difficult for all who are involved, especially children, but there are things parents can do to help their kids cope.

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences of a person's life. Experiencing the end of a marriage may be even more upsetting for children in Texas, and elsewhere. For everyone who is involved, dealing with this type of major life change will have its challenges. However, there are some things that parents can do to help their children cope with a divorce.

Keep the kids out of the fight

Emotions, hurt feelings and other issues may result in people having arguments with their former spouses. Parents magazine warns that heated discussions should not take place in front of the kids, however. Rather, parents should discuss contentious topics, such as finances, when the children are not around. This may help reduce the stress and anxiety that their kids experience as a result of the divorce.

Do not confide in children about adult concerns

It is common for people to have disagreements with their former spouses, and they may need to talk to someone about what they are going through. WebMD points out that parents should not confide in their children. Doing so might impact children's relationships with their other parent. Instead, they should talk to a friend or a psychologist.

Respect the parent-child relationship

Just as people's relationships with their children are important, so too are the relationships that their children have with their other parent. Respecting that relationship may help children to adjust to the divorce. According to the Mayo Clinic, parents should avoid using their children as a messenger or go-between. They should also refrain from pumping their children for information about their other parent's life. This may help prevent a situation in which a child feels like they have to pick a side.

Continue parenting as normal

Out of guilt or in an effort to help make them feel better, some parents may relax the rules or shower their children with gifts after a divorce. However, WebMD points out that children may feel safer if their parents remain firm and consistent. Therefore, it is advisable that people continue parenting as they always have following a divorce.

Encourage communication

Children may have a range of reactions to their parents' decision to divorce. Some may become sad or angry, while others may experience anxiety or relief. It is suggested that parents be prepared for these reactions. The Mayo Clinic suggests that parents encourage their children to share their feelings. Furthermore, they should reassure their kids that what they are feeling is normal and okay.

Work with an attorney

The longer that Texas divorces are drawn out, the more contentious and disruptive they may become. Thus, it may benefit parents to seek legal guidance to aid them in settling their divorce. An attorney may negotiate on their behalf and help guide them through the process.