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How to help the child of a divorce make a healthy adjustment

Kansas parents who are going through a divorce may want to take certain steps to make sure the separation doesn't have long-lasting negative effects on the children. In fact, parents should leave children out of their conflicts entirely. Efforts to turn children against the other parent can harm the child and potentially backfire.

Parents should make sure that their children do not think the divorce is their fault. To that end, they should watch carefully for signs of anxiety and depression. Parents should remember that young children might act out instead of talking about their feelings.

It is important for parents to show themselves as unified in front of children even if they have disagreements about parenting. Learning about parental conflicts might cause children to use this knowledge as a tool for manipulation. Because of guilt, parents might also be tempted to buy their children gifts or ease up on household rules. This method of making up for hurt feelings should be avoided.

When parents get a divorce, they may negotiate a child custody and visitation agreement or go to court where a judge will set a custody schedule. The former is usually preferable because it gives parents the opportunity to put together a schedule that specifically suits their situation. Negotiating will involve making good faith attempts to resolve conflict. However, if one parent refuses to cooperate, litigation might be necessary. One parent, usually the noncustodial parent, may be required to pay child support to the other. Both support and the custody schedule can be modified later if necessary.

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