People in Orange County who are getting a divorce can take steps to help their children adjust. Speaking to children early on in the process is important, as they will often begin to wonder what is wrong when parents move into separate bedrooms or there are other changes. Children need reassurance and the freedom to ask any questions they may have. If they are not asking questions, parents may want to periodically talk to them about the divorce and how they are feeling.
Children may need to grieve in their own way. They may also benefit from talking to a therapist. Parents can help by avoiding conflict. This may include being flexible when appointments are missed or similar issues arise. Parents should also avoid using their children to manipulate one another or to carry messages back and forth. They should not talk about one another in front of the children, and parenting issues should be dealt with privately. However angry one parent may be at the other, children still love both their parents and may be hurt by seeing one parent denigrated by the other.
It is also important that parents take care of themselves. Self-care is critical for parents to make sure that they maintain the resources they need to support their children.
The issues that arise during divorce may be painful, but it is important for parents to stay focused on the best interests of the child. Parents may want to explore options for sharing custody so that children get to spend a significant amount of time with each of them. Even if physical custody is not shared, a generous visitation agreement may help keep the child's relationship with the noncustodial parent strong. A parenting agreement can cover areas of potential conflict and help set guidelines for consistent parenting between households.