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Protecting children's well-being during divorce

The divorce process is a difficult period for all involved, but especially for children. Ohio parents who are ending their marriage can do certain things to help their children weather it and watch out for their emotional well-being.

The first thing parents can do is be honest with their children about the situation, without going into negative details and keeping in mind their age and maturity. For this, parents should show a united front, assuring their children that no matter what happens, they are still their parents and offering their kids the emotional support they will need to deal with the changes. Parents should encourage their children to speak freely about their feelings. The divorce process is a grieving one for both the adults and their children, and the kids need to be allowed to feel sad about what they are losing.

Parents should also be aware how they refer to each other and not badmouth the other parent in front of the children. As well, they should not use their children to deliver messages between them, since this can lead to anger and confusion. They should also be flexible with one another as the family adapts to the changes brought on by the divorce.

As with any situation, mistakes will be made as each person deals with their new reality, and if the parents are fighting and bitter over each small mistake, the emotional stability of the children can suffer. When things threaten to get overwhelming, adults can ask for outside help. This is a way to take care of both the children and themselves.

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