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How do I manage my child's emotional well-being during a divorce?

While two consenting adults can agree that their marriage has come to an end, it can sometimes be difficult for the children involved in that marriage. While there may be some debate as to how to handle child custody between the divorcing parents, there will hopefully be some agreement on how to manage the emotional well being of children involved in a divorce.

According to the American Psychological Association, or APA, there is much parents can do to influence their child's well being and still maintain quality relationships during and after a divorce.

First, it is recommended by the APA that any conflict between parents be kept away from the children as much as possible. It's also suggested that it can be helpful for parents to come up with a plan and present it to the children together. Communication is also key; it is best to be available and open to communicating about the child's feeling and experiences during the divorce. Minimizing change to the child's environment or everyday life can help to lessen the impact of the divorce also. In this respect, it is also recommended that the children stay in close proximity to both parents.

Although your personal relationship with your divorcing spouse may not be ideal, if possible it is best to maintain a cordial relationship. This is mostly for the benefit of the children, assuming of course that the spouse is satisfactory parent, Also, and on a related note, if a parent takes good care of themselves during the stressful time of the divorce it will only benefit the children. If a parent is able to manage their stress in a positive way, it will set a positive example for the kids.

Divorce is no doubt a very stressful time for both a spouse and his or her family. Divorcing couples can use these tips in order to better deal with the situation at hand. Divorce will cause a change for you and your family. However, it is how stress and change is dealt with that will help determine the emotional outcome.

Source: apa.org, "Healthy divorce: How to make your split as smooth as possible," accessed Nov. 16, 2014

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