Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Divorce doesn't mean your kids will have a bad childhood

Are you in a marital relationship that is crumbling, but think you need to stick it out for the children? At the end of the day, the choice is up to you but know that divorce does not mean your children will have a bad childhood. If approached the right way, divorce can be good for the whole family.

Children do not like to see their parents unhappy. A number of people think that they can hide the stress, strain and frustration of a failing relationship from their kids, but the truth is, they usually see it and that causes them to have their own struggles. What can couples in California who are choosing to end their marriages do to make things easier on their children?

Supportive childhood

Parents can do their best to show their children that they support them even though the family dynamic is changing. According to an article in Psychology Today, a supportive childhood is made up of the following features:

  • Parents get along and do not fight in the presence of their children.
  • Parents are emotionally stable, moving past the divorce and focusing on building a new life for themselves.
  • Children have adequate resources, such as a home, food and social support.

In short, children need to feel safe -- physically and emotionally -- and they need the basics required to survive. They do not need everything under the sun to be happy. Basics are key.

Parenting after divorce is not easy

Parenting after divorce certainly is not easy. You and the other parent can create custody and visitation plans so that each parent gets the time he or she needs with the kids. These can be highly detailed as to prevent fights between parents. If conflicts do arise, these plans can provide details for how you should address them, such as through mediation or other conflict resolution methods.

Children are not necessarily a reason to stay in an unhappy or unhealthy marital relationship. It can be difficult to pull the trigger and break up the family, but in the end, if done the right way, everyone may be better for it. The goal is a happy family. Parents deserve happiness too, and children do understand that. Parental attitude after divorce can make all the difference in how children react to the situation.

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