A GUIDE FOR PARENTS BASED ON THE CHILD'S AGE
(Note: There is significant overlap between these categories.)
How do I help my preschooler or school-age child cope?
How do I help my school-age or middle schooler cope?
- Most importantly, try to maintain consistency. Children going through separation and divorce need a lot of stability to anchor them during the stressful times of the early stages. Change as little as possible, especially at first.
- Do not alter the way you discipline and reward your child. Keep the routines the same (bedtimes, meals). Children feel safest when things are familiar.
- Be more affectionate. A few extra hugs go a long way during times like these. Don’t overdo this, but a little more affection can make a big difference to children who are feeling scared or lonely.
How do I help my adolescent cope?
- Help your children to stay connected. You should support your children's friendships and activities.
- Attention should be paid to enhancing or maintaining the quality of the parent-child relationship as a way to modify children’s long-term reactions to marital disruptions.
- For adolescents in particular, the significance of the frequency of contact with parents fades and it is the quality of the relationship that grow more central. The family, especially the parent-child relationship, has been viewed as the main source of support for the adolescent, acting as a buffer to help ameliorate some of the stress encountered during divorce.
- Do not use your teenager as an emotional confidant. Sharing the facts and feelings a child needs to know to be able to accept the divorce is not the same thing as discussing everything related to the divorce about which you may have a need to talk. Don’t make your children bear this burden. They have enough to deal with already.
- Adolescents are more likely to have financial worries than are younger children. Adolescents are more aware than younger children about the limitations imposed by money. They suspect the divorce may have direct financial ramifications for them, and they're usually right.
article is only meant to provide general information. It should not
necessarily be used as psychological counsel or advice, as
each person's specific situation requires a more custom solution.