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3 useful tips to help parents with kids handle divorce stress

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Family Law & Divorce

Watching children struggle can be the hardest thing about divorce. Many parents even avoid filing for divorce because they fear that the process could damage their children.

Parents who want to reduce the challenges their children experience during divorce typically need to stay calm and supportive when spending time with their children. To achieve that goal, they need to prioritize their own mental health and healing. The following are some of the ways that divorcing parents can enhance their ability to show up for their children in a supportive manner during divorce.

Prioritize self-care

The idea of self-care has become quite trendy in recent years for good reason. Individuals going through difficult times often worsen their own challenges by failing to meet their own needs. Parents can model healthy behavior for their children by getting enough sleep, prioritizing a balanced diet and taking care of their health. Those who focus on maintaining their health throughout a divorce may find it easier to remain calm when interacting with their spouse and supportive when interacting with their children.

Look for healthy and appropriate outlets

Even when someone makes every effort to prioritize self-care and their own mental health, they like are likely to experience intense emotions during the divorce process. People need a healthy way to process and move on from their anger and grief. For many people, counseling or therapy can help them express themselves in a confidential setting during divorce. Others may find that a local support group could be useful, especially if the divorce occurs due to infidelity or substance abuse issues. For some people, creative outlets can provide them with relief from the intense emotions that may arise during a divorce.

Focus on the future

It is easy to perseverate on perceived failures and inequalities during a divorce. One spouse may blame the other for the breakdown of the relationship or may blame themselves. Focusing on what went wrong in the past is not a healthy approach to divorce. It is good to learn from prior mistakes and to make sense of what went wrong in a relationship. It is not beneficial to perseverate on those issues, as no one can change the past. Setting achievable goals for the future and making small steps on a daily basis to reach those days is typically a smart move.

Divorcing parents who have someone else to handle the legal technicalities of their situation can focus more on their own healing and the support of their children than on learning the minutia of family law. And, at the end of the day, whatever the approach, parents who prioritize showing up for their children can make the divorce process less stressful for them.