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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Some key principles assist children during and after divorce

The security and peace of mind of one’s children is often a worry that a spouse takes into a divorce and carries in his or her awareness throughout the proceedings and thereafter.  According to a prominent divorce therapist, the divorcing parents can follow certain guidelines for optimal emotional stability for their children. Indeed, the suggested practices are consistent with similar tenets that divorce attorneys here in Georgia and elsewhere have counseled for many years.

First of all, honesty is in fact almost always the best policy. A parent should talk clearly and honestly with the children, and explain the finality of divorce. Allow the child to have regrets and feel sad, and explain how normal and common such experience can be, not only for young children but for yourself as well.

One cardinal rule that cuts across all aspects of divorce, support and custody law is to speak well of the other parent. This helps the child to maintain self-confidence through maintaining respect for both parents, who equally produced him or her. Furthermore, it is not supportive for a parent to act out emotional excesses in front of the children. The children often perceive it as hypocritical and manipulative.

Don’t confide adult issues with the child, or play for the child’s sympathy. It’s unhealthy to influence the child to become an emotional caretaker for a distraught parent. Remember the old adage that we are all “actors on the stage of life,” meaning that one must keep one’s chin up and be a mature, unwavering role model even if down deep there are still pangs of pain and suffering.

Don’t let the children fall into a chaotic lifestyle. It is wise to keep routines in place and provide a structured schedule, which gives the child a sense of security and predictability. Finally, expressing love is of course what most parents try to do all of the time, regardless of divorce. The child must quickly see that the commitment of love by each parent is lasting and made generously available. These are all values that are encouraged by attorneys and judges in the family law system in Georgia and elsewhere.

Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Ways to Help Your Kids Thrive After Divorce“, Samantha Rodman PhD, May 28,2015