Q1) How does divorce effect kids?
Every kid deals with divorce differently, largely dependent upon their individual makeup, age, station in life and often in reaction to how their parents deal with the divorce. It can be a very healthy and positive experience for children and an opportunity for a dysfunctional family to transition to a better place and it can also be disastrous, traumatic for children with life long negative implications.
Q2) How do parents communicate to them about the divorce and assist them through the process?
This often depends on the individual kids themselves and the family history and the current family dynamic. It is best to get professional, objective advice and assistance with this, to do everything you can to assist your children with the news and transition in a positive, healthy way. It is best for parents to at least do everything they can to be united on this front, even if they can’t agree on anything else. The kids absolutely need to understand and feel that they are not responsible for the end of their parents marriage and that they are not being abandoned and that they are loved just as much as ever or likely even more so as the family transitions to a new healthier place. Again, objective professional advice and support is crucial – kids deserve nothing less.
Q3) What professionals are available to help?
There are psychologists, counselors and other health care professionals that are specifically trained and have the experience to assist children through the divorce process. You can get a referral from your family doctor, lawyer, counseling services that may be provided to you through your employment or you can Google Collaborative Family Law BC for a listing of child specialists that can help. I recommend that parents together (if they can) invest the time, energy and money to meet with 2 or 3 child specialists and choose the one that best resonates / clicks with them.