Magnuson Lowell Blog
Each week we post a blog about relevant legal issues. Glance through our various topics to learn more about a particular legal situation.
The emotions that come with a divorce can be hard for anyone to cope with -- especially children. While you can figure out how to deal with your own emotions during your divorce (and after), you have to think about ways you can help your children do the same. This isn't always easy, but it can be very rewarding because you are providing them with the tools they need to cope throughout their remaining days.
Some parents shy away from discussing their own emotional challenges with their children. If you can talk to your kids about how you feel in a way that is age appropriate, you may find that this helps them to normalize a range of emotions.
As they grow and mature, children might need different ways to figure out how to handle their emotions. Talk to them about what they think is important. Encourage them to use appropriate methods for relaying their feelings. For example, hitting when they are angry isn't appropriate but discussing the reasons they are angry is -- as long as it is done in a respectful manner.
Another thing to consider when you are helping your children learn to deal with their emotions is that emotions become more complex as people age. Children might need to find new ways to cope with these expanded feelings as they transition from toddlerhood to childhood and then become teenagers. At the same time, your children may become more critical of what you are doing -- which means you will have to be more careful how you handle your interactions with your children as time goes on. Additionally, it's important to reserve your criticism as your children struggle to cope with their own changing feelings.
Setting down a clear plan for how you and your ex will handle your child's emotional development can be beneficial. A well-rounded parenting plan should be the basis for any child custody agreement.