California divorce: Helping children adjust to the changes

The divorce of their parents may be difficult for children to deal with, but there are things their parents can do to help them adjust to the changes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in the U.S. was 3.6 for every 1,000 people as of 2011. Sometimes, the couples in San Bernardino County, and elsewhere, who make the decision to divorce have children. While the end of a marriage is often difficult for the adults involved, it can be particularly upsetting for their kids. Parents cannot completely eliminate the emotions their children may experience as a result of their divorce, but there are things they can do to help them cope.

Stay involved

In some cases, parents may step back from participating in their children's everyday lives after a divorce. This is not advisable, however. Rather, kids may benefit from their parents setting their differences aside and continuing to support them at their school, recreational and other events. When parents stay involved in their children's lives after a divorce, it may help reinforce to their children that they are still loved and their parents will continue to be there for them.

Minimize the disruptions

Going through the divorce of their parents is a major life change for many children. As such, it can be upsetting and confusing. It is suggested that parents limit the disruptions the divorce causes to their children's daily lives as much as possible. For instance, if a child's father has always picked him or her up from school, it may be helpful if he continues to do so during and after the divorce.

Furthermore, parents should continue to parent as they always have. This includes enforcing the rules and not showering their kids with unnecessary gifts. Limiting the disruptions and remaining consistent may help parents to provide the stability their children may want and need when going through this type of major life change.

Keep the kids out of the conflict

During and even after a divorce, people may have strong feelings of animosity toward their former partners. Being at odds with one another, they may frequently argue. However, it is important that they avoid fighting or discussing adult issues in front of their children. According to Scientific American, limiting their disagreements or not exposing their kids to them fighting may help their children to better adjust to their divorce.

Be ready to answer questions

Often, children whose parents are divorcing may have a number of questions and concerns. It is common for them to want to know how the split will affect their lives. For example, kids may want to know if they will have to move or change schools, if they will still be able to play on their sports teams and how the visitation arrangement will work. Particularly if they are unsure of the answers, it may be difficult for parents to answer their children's questions. Addressing their children's concerns as best as they are able, however, may help them to ease their kids' fears and anxieties over the divorce.

Work with an attorney

Acrimonious divorces are generally trying for those involved, but they may be especially difficult for the children. Therefore, California parents who are considering a divorce may benefit from seeking legal counsel. An attorney may guide them through the legal process, as well as negotiate on their behalf and help limit their stress.