It should come as no surprise to anyone that divorces are extremely difficult for children to cope with. Even a relatively amicable separation can affect everything from the child’s grades to their personal relationships with their peers. If you are going through a divorce and your ex has become aggressive or angry, then here are a few tips you can use to keep your child safe and healthy.
Immediately Set Boundaries
Once you have decided that it is time for a divorce, you should immediately set clear boundaries with your ex. That includes establishing how you will communicate with one another and what the living arrangements will be. While that might seem like a somewhat aggressive move, it will be better for your child. Ongoing arguments over logistical problems such as who will take your kid to practice or pay for certain school supplies is only going to make the divorce more complicated.
Communication is extremely important during the divorce process, even though you and your ex may not get along so well. Ambiguities could spawn more trouble than simply discussing all the specifics necessary for a smooth transition to your new lives apart from each other. It’s better to deal with a bit of awkwardness and stress early on to minimize the overall impact of the change.
Hire a Lawyer
An experienced divorce lawyer can take some of the stress out of this process by acting as a mediator. In addition to helping your file the correct paperwork, they can also help you come to an agreement on complex issues like who the primary caregiver will be. The initial costs often seem overwhelming, but the peace of mind that a divorce attorney can give you is priceless if you are dealing with an aggressive or unruly ex.
Contact a Social Worker
Many people don’t realize that certified social workers with an online master’s in social work can be hired during a divorce for family counseling and conflict resolution. Their primary goal is to alleviate some of the stress that your child might be feeling so that it won’t spill over into other aspects of their life. They might recommend services such as weekly counseling for the child or group therapy for the entire family.
Don’t Make Your Child Take Sides
A number of recent studies have revealed that children who are forced to take sides during a divorce often struggle with many different mental health disorders. Even if you believe that your ex is being petty or aggressive, you must still try to avoid badmouthing them or arguing in front of your children. Your child is already going through enough emotions, and forcing them to choose between their parents will only exacerbate those feelings.
Your child might have to deal with the emotional baggage of your divorce for many years, and there is no single tool or tactic you can use to completely shelter them. Luckily, as long as you continue to show them affection and put their needs first, they should be able to come out of this situation with a healthy outlook on life and relationships.