Children are the innocent victims of divorce. They become the center of battles over child custody, support, and visitation. Worst of all, the lines are drawn between the two people they love the most - Mom and Dad.
Divorce affects a child in ways that parents don't always consider. They face losing the only lifestyle that they've ever known. In its place are week-end visits with Dad, living with a stressed out Mom, and having reduced resources for everything they used to do. You can't change this fact, but you can give your kids unconditional love and support to help ease their adjustments.
Because each child reacts differently to divorce, you may sometimes question your abilities as a mother. This can be especially true if your ex suddenly finds fault with everything you do concerning the kids. This is usually a power-play, but it can weaken your self-confidence as a parent. Don't take it personally. Talking to other mothers can help you regain your bearing, plus give you different ways to deal with the inevitable stress of raising kids.
Raising kids is tough, but divorce adds a whole new set of rules to your job. Beyond dealing with your their emotions, you will also need to handle all the legalities concerning the them and their well-being. A well thought out parenting plan can help you minimize the trauma that they will face. Take into consideration the following questions as you prepare your divorce. What will the custody arrangements be? How often will they visit their father? How much child support will you get, and what happens if your ex-husband doesn’t pay?
But most importantly, how can you be there emotionally for your kids, to help them accept and adjust to their new life. When you're at the end of your rope, realize that you are tougher than you think, and ultimately, you and your children will survive.
Author: Tracy Achen
The following articles can give you more insight on the issues that you will face as you approach a divorce involving school-age kids.