One of a parent’s greatest fears when contemplating a divorce in San Diego is how the divorce will impact their child(ren). Our clients often ask our Certified Family Law Specialists for suggestions when it comes to managing the anger of a child during a divorce. This is not an uncommon challenge for parents during a divorce. However, it is possible to help each child to work through this adjustment and manage it in a manner which is better for the child’s mental, physical and emotional health.
Several recent studies have researched the impact of a divorce on a child. Divorce is a massive change for any person. Children do not have the benefit of experience or the perspective to look forward as they work to understand what is happening. They are experiencing what they perceive to be the loss of a family. They have no idea what to expect. This brings a variety of emotions to the surface, but the most common is anger.
One of the best tips for managing the anger of a child during a divorce is to preserve as much of their former life, schedule and activities as possible. The more stable they perceive the situation to be, the less likely a serious and persistent anger response is likely to be. Children of divorce often fear abandonment. The physical presence of each parent combined with a positive, loving, understanding and supportive communications and actions go a long way to helping each child to work through this transition.
Focus on keeping your own emotions and reactions in check and work to quash your own defensiveness and hurt feelings. Angry children say hurtful things and act out in sometimes extraordinary ways. Focus on not allowing their words or actions to interrupt the consistent love, positivity and support you provide during this time. It is also important to carefully set boundaries and to balance the need to work through things and express their thoughts with the necessary and important presence of respectful boundaries.
Another important tip for managing the anger of a child during a divorce is to answer their questions as candidly and honestly as possible. Of course, one must consider the age and maturity of the child as well as the relevance of their question. You may not need to provide complex or sordid details, but honesty is one of the most important ingredients in managing an angry child. If you don’t know the answer to their questions, say so, while following it up with something like “but lets work on finding the answer to that together.” One of the most effective tools against anger in any relationship is trust. This is especially true with children.
Finally, it is important to seek help. Professional psychologists or family therapists can help both your child and you to work through this transition and come through it with an even stronger, more loving relationship. You will need help and strength to work through these challenges. It is important to know you are not alone, and this is unfortunately a common challenge in divorce. We work with our clients to meet these challenges and work through them, while keeping our focus on the process of completing this transition and a positive new life ahead.
Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.