How To Protect Your Kids’ Mental Health During A Divorce

May 28, 2022

 How To Protect Your Kids’ Mental Health During A Divorce

A marital breakdown is stressful enough, and the last thing you want is to make the children feel the same. Unfortunately, it is quite common, with a divorce rate of 41%. Indeed, during the early stages of the marriage breakdown, children can see and sense the changes at home. Some minors may act out in reaction to the stress at home, while others become sad, quiet and unassuming. As parents, your primary role is to offer protection, which can be done through certain measures. Here are a few ways to shield your young ones.


  1. Avoid going to trial

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Divorce trials can be messy, and even for adults, it is more than enough to stress you out mentally and emotionally. How much more children? The divorce trial is often protracted and insensitive, and the narrative is determined by proof that the court can lay its hands on. It can become an ugly battlefield that nobody would want to expose children to. Therefore, the two parties should agree to spare the children from the heat when the marriage breaks down.

Instead of a court trial, the two parties involved can seek the services of a divorce lawyer. There may be options you and your partner have not yet explored. An experienced divorce lawyer would ensure that the outcome is befitting for all involved. Moreover, dealing with a divorce lawyer allows you and your partner to settle the dispute out of court. This option's extra care is suitable for you and your kids’ mental well-being.

  1. Don’t act out your frustration

It is very easy to project the anger meant for your spouse toward the children. Undoubtedly, this is unhealthy and a negative experience for kids. In your bid to bring the marriage to an end, it helps to remember that your little ones are scared and stressed too. They may not want to live with one parent and spend a few hours with the other. If they have been used to having both parents before the marriage breakdown, it can be another mine to sidestep. For this reason, projecting your anger and frustration on these innocent ones can worsen the situation.

It may not be someone’s intention to be mean. However, the emotions they may be dealing with may cause them to act out of character. At this stage, though, you have a great responsibility to take those children out of the direct line of ‘fire.’ Experts say, whenever you have the urge to vent your frustration, remember that the kids did nothing to you. If you happen to direct your anger towards your children, also remember to apologise immediately. This way, your minors wouldn’t think the divorce is their fault.

  1. Avoid using the kids to punish your ex-spouse 

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Usually, when one party has custody of the children, there is a compulsion to deny the other parent their right to the kids. This can be mentally and emotionally damaging to these young ones. Therefore, in your quest to show who has more ‘power,’ you may want to remember that the kids suffer more than the person you intended to punish. It is known as parental alienation. Allowing the kids to have healthy access to both parents can be a healing process for their young minds. Unless a court order clearly states that the children should be kept away from the other parent, try to avoid making that decision.

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