Divorce can be hard on children, and a conflict-ridden divorce in which children feel forced to choose sides can lead to problems that follow them for years. However, this outcome is not inevitable. Parents in Texas who are getting a divorce can take several steps to help their children better adjust.
Parents should avoid conflict in front of their children. This includes not speaking disrespectfully of the other parent when the children are around. Parents need to learn to maintain a balance between being honest with their children and not complaining about one another or sharing too much information about the divorce. Children should also be reassured that their parents love them and that the divorce is not their fault. They should be able to freely express love for parents and stepparents without encountering disapproval, and they should not feel they must choose between their parents.
Parents should also keep their children informed of schedule changes. Older children might even want input into the schedule. Children adjust better if they have a regular schedule that they can count on. They may also sometimes choose to spend more time with one parent than the other or even spend time with friends instead of parents. They should feel free to express their emotions, and their parents should not burden them with their problems.
Negotiating access and possession can be difficult and may raise many of these issues. The standard used by a court is the best interests of the child. Parents should keep this standard in mind as well since it helps them focus on their children and their needs instead of themselves. It can be a struggle for parents to accept that divorce means spending less time with their children, but being allowed to spend time building a relationship with both parents can be very important for children.