While we all recognize the importance of financial support, this topic deals with the emotional support your children need before, during and long after the legal divorce is final. The breakup of a family is one of the most traumatic events of a child’s life. Each of your children may have different responses: some will be angry at one parent or another; some overwhelmingly sad; others depressed; perhaps guilty; or blaming; and most will suffer all emotions at different times. Do you know what information your children have heard or seen that day to influence their mood? Can you possibly know what’s in their head?
Your children know, and sense, more than you think. Your tough job is to fine-tune your antennae to recognize the mood changes and determine your course of action. You may find the other parent or family member has said or done something about the divorce to affect your child’s mood. As you cannot control what your child hears, you must deal with the consequences, which makes parenting during divorce the most challenging. Be factual and comforting when you respond, but without compromising your rules of discipline. The children of your divorce should live with the same rules as you wanted to impose during your marriage. Divorce is a fact of their life, and they will have to live with the benefits and burdens of that just as you do.