Divorce and kids in Texas: Four tips to help children cope

Going through the divorce of their parents may be particularly difficult for kids, but there are things people can do to help them cope.

Divorce can be upsetting enough for adults in Texas and elsewhere, but it can be even more difficult to get through when there are children involved. According to U.S. News & World Report, many kids work through issues associated with the divorce of their parents within about four to nine months. For others, however, the effects may be deeper and longer lasting. Though there is no sure fire way for parents to eliminate the distress the end of their marriage may cause for their children, there are things they can do to help them cope with the changes.

Talk it out

Talking about their feelings at the end of a marriage may be difficult for people. However, for parents, it is essential that they discuss their children's emotions. People are advised to keep the lines of communication open with their kids after breaking the news to them. Parents might explain to them the feelings children in such situations may naturally experience, and regularly check in with them to gauge how they coping

Offer reassurances

Divorce and one parent moving out can be a significant upheaval in the lives of children. When breaking the news to them and throughout the process, people should reassure their kids that the split in no way affects their love for them and is not at all their faults. This may help them to better understand that the divorce is for the best for the family and that the decision does not have anything to do with them.

Avoid playing the blame game

Hurt feelings, anger and other factors may lead people to assign blame when they are getting divorced. When it comes to breaking the news to their children and discussing their split with them, however, people should take care not to place the fault for the divorce with one parent or the other. This may affect the parent-child relationships or cause kids further stress as they may feel like they have to choose a side. Parents are also advised to refrain from bad-mouthing their exes in front of their children or discussing other adult matters in front of them.

Be prepared for kids' reactions

Depending on their ages and various other factors, children may experience a range of reactions when they learn their parents are getting divorced. Often pragmatic at the outset, many may be concerned with details such as who they will live with, whether they will have to change schools and when they will get to see their other parents. Once the news has set in, younger kids may be clingy, irritable, aggressive or insecure. Older kids, on the other hand, may become depressed, act out or fantasize about their parents reconciling. Parents are encouraged to allow their kids to express their feelings, and to seek professional assistance if they are struggling.

Working with an attorney

As divorces and other family law disputes in Texas are drawn out or become contentious, their effects may become more challenging for families to move beyond. Thus, parents who are considering a divorce may find it helpful to obtain legal representation. An attorney may guide them through the process, looking out for their interests and negotiating on their behalf.