Even under the best of circumstances, divorce has a psychological effect on children. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, young adults with divorced parents were more likely to develop mental disorders than their peers whose parents were not divorced.
There are things parents can do during and after a divorce to aid the mental health of their offspring during this stressful time. Even though the parents are no longer together, their relationships with their children continue, and it is up to them to ensure that these relationships remain healthy and the children feel loved.
Helping Children Cope
After divorce, the lives of most children change dramatically. They may not live in the same house, or may live with other people, such as stepparents or stepsiblings. Let your child know the difficult feelings they are experiencing due to these changes are normal, and that even though life has changed, both parents still love their child very much. It is critical that a child understands that they were not responsible for the divorce.
Importance of Routines
With divorce comes changes in the old routines, so it is vital to establish new ones as soon as possible and maintain them. Routines give children a sense of stability. Try to establish regular mealtimes and bedtimes, and keep them the same at either parent’s house for the child’s benefit. School routines and after-school activities should remain the same as much as possible. Along with routines, rules are also important. By enforcing rules, you are letting the child know that there are standards to which they must adhere, and this also gives a child the sense that their life is not out of control.
How to Help
Help your child by listening to them and taking their concerns seriously. Let them know you are always free to discuss these issues. Do not criticize the other parent, even if you do not approve of their behavior.
When to Seek Professional Help
Most children will eventually adjust to their new lives, and many will thrive. If your child is still depressed or acting out months after the divorce, consider obtaining professional help for them. Sessions with a child psychologist or other therapists specializing in the needs of children of divorce can make a difference.
Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Knowledgeable Representation to Clients Seeking Divorce
If you are considering divorce, contact a Baltimore County divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Our attorneys are experienced in a wide array of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, property division, parenting plans, and post-divorce modifications. Arrange a free consultation, by completing our online contact form or call us at 443-589-0150.
Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.