Divorce can be a painful, even traumatic experience, for the whole family. But there are ways for parents to help themselves and their children weather the storm.
FOX’s Lisa Brady reports in this week’s Fox on Family.
Divorce is messy. Is there a way to make it less painful for the kids?:
(Jenkins) “When you first sit them down before any of the fighting starts, what really do you want to accomplish here? I want to get divorced and I want what’s best for my kids; they always say that.”
But family lawyer and author Joryn Jenkins says the stress of divorce can make it easy to lose sight of that. So at every meeting, she keeps goals and interests posted on a white board, pictures of the kids on a conference table and has parents take a break when they’re getting upset.
To break the news to children, Jenkins always recommends doing it as a couple:
(Jenkins) “You know the big thing about getting divorced is you’re sending your children the message that you can stop loving someone.”
So kids need reassurance from a united front of support.
(Jenkins) “I think you often explain that it’s that you can’t live together anymore, but you reiterate-all the time-we will always love you; we will both always love you, you don’t stop loving your children.”
But she often recommends family counseling, especially to make sure kids don’t blame themselves.
With FOX on Family, I’m Lisa Brady.
Joryn Jenkins is a family lawyer and best-selling author of books including “War or Peace: Avoid the Destruction of Divorce Court.” She says keeping the kids at the forefront and relieving stress, like letting someone vent during a meeting, can help to keep the splitting couple focused on how to do what’s best for the kids. But sometimes parent coordinators are used or the lawyers themselves will get the green light to make decisions the couple just can’t agree on during the process, even simple things like what time someone will be picking up a child.