To minimize the damage done by a divorce there are many steps a parent can take. This time is not pleasant for you or your children; however, there can be recovery and joy for all of you.
Ronald Johnston has helped families torn apart, repair their lives and find a calm for children to flourish in.
Here are some suggestions to help the resilience in your children emerge through the divorce.
Prepare your child for separation.
This is not necessarily easy, but it is the experience of most Portland family law attorneys that the children are aware of the conflict within the marriage.
Once you have decided to separate, consider promptly letting the children in on the situation. A best case scenario would be having both parents explain that there will be a different arrangement. Children need to be assured that they are not to blame for this situation. The best case scenario for the children would also exclude blame for the separation being placed on one parent either.
One of the most unsettling scenarios is for one parent to “disappear.”
Give them time to absorb the news. Try to arrange good childcare before the separation. Teenagers should not be required to give up all their activities and friends.
Assure the children of your continuing love. Let them know they will not be abandoned.
Work with your child to facilitate a healthy adjustment to the change in the home.
Recognize that, at least initially, there will be a change in the parent-child relationships during and after the separation. Many parents are surprised how they may feel a sudden and intense attachment and dependence on their children. There is often an emotional roller coaster felt by both children and parent.
The roller coaster may cause children to act out. Sometimes this manifests itself in the way of tantrums, sadness, or anger. Other children will be the “perfect child” trying to be so good that their parents will get back together. Younger children might regress in an effort to get attention. This may present itself in the way of sucking her thumb or wetting his bed, even though he hasn’t done these things for a long time.
Give every child reassurance, support and an opportunity to express complicated feelings.
Let your children know that being sad is normal. Listen to what they have to say. Don’t, however, use your children as your counselor. Find a family friend or another adult to confide in, not your children.
Ronald Johnston has spent nearly four decades helping families restructure their lives through the upheaval of a divorce.
Come in for a consultation to find what constructive steps you can take today. Click here to read about what to expect from the consultation.
Call 503-226-7986 or click here to contact Ronald or see a map of his location off of I-5 near Washington Square Mall.