Children & Divorce
Divorce can be a stressful experience for the entire family, but children of divorcing couples may find it particularly confusing and worrying. There are many negative statistics regarding children and divorce, including that they may be more likely to divorce when they are adults. Divorce may never be an easy process, but parents can take steps to minimize the impact on their kids.
Divorcing couples should maintain open communication between one another and work to foster a healthy, positive relationship between their child and the opposite parent. Because this can be a difficult hurdle for many couples, Ontario Family Resolutions of Toronto offers mediation services to facilitate healthier patterns of communication.
Learn how mediation can help you avoid costly litigation. Call (416) 818-4111 to schedule an appointment with our mediation team.
Some general tips to follow include:
- Parents should be honest but age-appropriate. While parents do not have to hide their emotions, they should keep their conversations with their children age-appropriate and avoid sharing details that could be hurtful or frightening for the children. Families in crisis should take advantage of opportunities to encourage their children to share their own experiences and feelings as well.
- Parents should address issues directly with one another rather than expecting children to act as go-betweens. Children and divorce can lead to torn loyalties and feelings of instability, and parents who expect their children to carry messages from one parent to the other can inadvertently increase the feelings of instability and disconnectedness.
- Parents should maintain comfortable, familiar routines when possible but be open to flexibility. Rules regarding homework, behavior, and bedtime, for example, should not change dramatically simply due to a change in family structure; however, gradually establishing new family traditions can help children become more comfortable with the flexibility they will need in their new lives.
- Parents should know when to ask for help. Children who are having frequent angry outbursts, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, struggling at school, or withdrawing from loved ones or favorite activities may benefit from professional counseling.
Families may naturally have many concerns surrounding children and divorce. We provide an alternative to litigation for families in crisis. Our goal is to help families resolve their disputes through our third-party, affordable mediation services and child-centered parenting coordinators. We believe that everyone has the ability to resolve disputes amicably.