Law Offices of Lisa Standish

Children of divorce: Things to do and not do to help them

A top priority of all good parents in Pennsylvania and beyond is to act with children's best interests in mind. When divorce occurs, parents may disagree about what is best. The court will step in to make all custody, visitation and support decisions when parents can't agree. As for daily life and children's emotional needs, there are several things parents can do to help children move on in life in as healthy and positive a manner as possible.

One of the best ways to help children come to terms with divorce is to avoid subjecting them to adult conflicts. If children constantly witness their parents fighting and a main topic of the arguments pertains to them, the kids may internalize the situation and wind up blaming themselves for their parents' problems. While it is okay to let kids know that parents have disagreements, it is far better for their well-being if they see their parents working together in a calm, mature and peaceful fashion to overcome their differences.

While arguing about divorce-related matters in front of children is something a parent won't want to do if the goal is to provide children with coping skills, there are several things to do that will help kids cope. It is always a good idea to try to provide as much stability, continuity and structure as possible in children's lives during and after divorce. Children generally thrive in such environments. While divorce definitely prompts changes in life, such changes do not have to eliminate a sense of normalcy.

Pennsylvania parents who have made the decision to divorce will also want to verbally remind their children that they love them and are there to support them. Children may ask many questions and it is helpful to explain the divorce process to them and also tell them what they can expect regarding new living arrangements and other changes. A parent may also have a lot of questions regarding state laws and can seek answers by speaking with an experienced family law attorney.

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