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Tips for parents to help children adjust after a divorce

Texas parents who are worried about how their children will adjust to a divorce can do certain things that may make the process less difficult for them. They should encourage them to move ahead with their lives and should also encourage their relationship with the other parent.

Parents should create a co-parenting plan that establishes consistent rules between their households. They should watch their children for signs of depression or anxiety and talk to their children's friends and teachers about how they are adjusting. Some children may not verbalize their anxiety but might act out instead.

There are also actions that parents may take that could make the process harder for children. Parents who try to make their children choose between them and the other parent, who use children to relay messages between themselves and the other parent or who lean on the child for emotional support may be doing harm to them. Parents also should not tell children if they are experiencing disagreements about co-parenting. Children could use this information to manipulate their parents. Parents might feel guilty about the divorce and be tempted to relax household rules or buy children gifts to make up for it, but they should resist this urge.

Working out a child custody agreement can be fraught because parents may feel that the child is better off without extensive contact with the other parent or may struggle to accept less time with the child. It is important for parents to keep in mind that a court is unlikely to see a difference in parenting philosophy as a reason to reduce a child's time with a parent. However, if the child's well-being is in danger because the parent is abusive, the other parent may want to allow only supervised visitation.

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