In a perfect world, children of divorcing or divorced Pittsburgh parents would not be negatively impacted. As much as we try to shield them from the pain of divorce, they will likely feel some long-term effects from it. Consider some parenting tips offered by psychologist, Dr. Sara Rivero-Conil, on helping children cope with divorce.
- Encourage Communication. “Communication is the key. Children should be encouraged to share their feelings – both negative and positive. Make talking an ongoing process. Be prepared for children to have questions, and though it may be difficult, keep the children’s feelings and opinions separate from those of the adults. It is imperative for the child to know that parents are still accounting for his or her feelings during this process. Remind children they are not at fault for the divorce. Parents who are feeling angry or upset should ask a trusted family member or professional counselor for help, and keep from expressing strong feelings to the children. Offering children the chance to talk to peers whose parents have divorced can be helpful, as well.”
- Take the High Road. “Far too often, parents who are feuding unintentionally make the kids feel like they have to pick a side, and this can be traumatic for a child at any age. Regardless of the situation, divorcing parents should try to remain as factual and neutral as possible around the children.”
- Take Care of Yourself, Too. “When parents are in pain, their children are in pain, too. Seeking the support of family members, friends and even a professional therapist can help those confronting divorce stay strong for themselves and the children. Divorce is certainly not easy, but patience, open communication and a strong support system can make the process better for the whole family.”
It is also important not to get caught up in the guilt of a PA divorce to the detriment of your children. For example, allowing your children to have and do whatever they want with impunity because you feel guilty about “breaking up” the family, will only serve to harm them. Children need continued structure and boundaries after divorce and it’s important for divorcing parents to create a united front in this regard.
Let the Pittsburgh divorce attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates help you shape yours and your children’s futures. At a consultation with our office, we can work together to create a roadmap to make your Allegheny County divorce as easy and stress free as possible. Contact us today.