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Building a strong post-divorce support system for your children

Chances are, your children have friends whose parents are divorced or are currently navigating the process. While this fact may not resolve all your problems related to your current divorce circumstances, it shows that you are definitely not alone in your struggle and may even provide the first building blocks of a strong support network as well.  

Talking to other Texas parents who can relate to your situation may point you toward helpful ideas regarding ways to help your children cope and adapt to their new lifestyle in as healthy a manner as possible. It's true that your divorce will have a strong impact on your kids' lives; however, that doesn't necessarily have to mean they will never come to terms with the situation. While you're helping your children, it's also a good idea to secure your own line of support.  

Coping skills that help children thrive 

If you've already told your kids about your impending divorce, you may have noticed that each of them reacted in their own unique ways. As you move on in life together, the support style you use with one child may vary from another as well, as each child has individual needs and ideas. The following list includes helpful tips that many parents say provided their children with healthy coping skills during and after divorce:  

  • Most children in Texas and beyond naturally shy away from confrontation. One of the best means of support you can provide for your kids is to try to shield them from any conflict you and your co-parent are experiencing as you work toward a settlement. 
  • If children witness their parents constantly bickering over divorce issues that may pertain to them, such as custody, visitation or child support problems, it can cause them great stress and anxiety regarding their loyalty to both parents. 
  • In households of divorce, as well as those where marriages remain intact, children generally thrive on structure and routine.
  • While divorce undoubtedly causes disruption and changes in daily life, the more stability and continuity you can provide for your kids, the better, regarding their ability to cope. 
  • Clarity is also a key factor in helping kids understand divorce.
  • By explaining the permanency of the situation and also that they are not to blame, you can help ease the burden that your children may feel because kids tend to internalize their parents' marital problems, thinking they have caused the situation. 

If you and your spouse can agree to encourage your kids to maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents as life goes on after divorce, they may feel less stressed about the situation. That's not a guarantee, however, that zero challenges will arise. It does make it likelier that you will be able to rectify problem situations in ways that keep your children moving in a positive direction.

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