Florida parents like you have several concerns when going through a divorce. One of them is how your child will fare through the ordeal. Divorce is a difficult thing for anyone to go through, especially a kid.
Is there any way to make this process an easier one? Can you do anything to limit the amount of damage your child faces?
Breaking news of divorce to your child
Kids Health discusses ways for parents to help their children through divorce. Many of these ways focus on how you handle the divorce itself. The other crucial point is how you first break the news. After all, this will set a tone for the rest of the split.
Thus, collaborative divorces often fare better than high conflict divorces. If you and your co-parent want to work things out in as peaceful a way as possible, this is one more reason to do so. The lack of aggression is apparent to your child. They will feel more at ease without it. Also, it helps for co-parents to present a unified front. This helps your child retain a feeling of stability in a very unstable time.
Working together with your co-parent
When dealing with talk of the split, make sure that you display that you are on the same page. Work out what you want to talk about beforehand. Rehearse it if you need to. Do not hold discussions after you have had arguments, as your child will likely be able to pick up on it. Above all, reassure them that they are not at fault and that you love them. This provides them with the stability and certainty they need to keep moving forward.
Tension and stress debilitate the body. While there are some stresses that are part and parcel with everyday living, it is in a person’s best interest to reduce the amount of any extra stress they take on. Failure to do so risks a person’s physical, mental and emotional states — which may lead to slips in judgment, communication and action.
During a divorce, those slips can create chaos and misunderstanding between two spouses. As WebMD points out, stress-related ailments and complaints accounts for over 75% of doctors visits. Exacerbating the stress of a normal, adult life with a stressful divorce stacks on a person and may adversely affect their future.
Identifying the effects of stress
WebMD defines two types of stress: eustress and distress. Distress is the sort of negative impact that a nasty and disorganized divorce may produce. Distress leads to overworked thoughts and weary bodies. Symptoms of distress can include elevated blood pressure, chest pains and trouble sleeping. These symptoms can play a part in other problems like chronic headaches and anxiety. All these issues make the legal process of separation that much worse to work through.
Avoiding stress with collaboration
Much as one spouse may dislike the other in a divorce, the tools for cooperation and negotiation still exist. A collaborative divorce attempts to settle disputes with out-of-court methods. As Florida statute states: “The collaborative law process…preserves a working relationship between the parties and reduces the emotional and financial toll of litigation.”
Divorce puts stress on every party involved, but it does not have to create problems that lead to health risks and poor management of the process. Setting aside the time to settle things out-of-court may lead to a smoother transition that keeps everyone’s stress levels lower.