I want to talk to you about explaining custody arrangements to your children.
How do you explain to your children the legal system when you’re still probably trying to figure it out yourself?
For children of divorced families this can be difficult to understand, but sometimes you need to let them know that there is a third party helping to determine decisions on behalf of the family such as judges and lawyers.
By letting your kids know that there are professionals out there that are hired and are doing a legal job to help keep things fair in helping parents with guidelines is important. Rather than children wondering why things can’t just be determined by them or by their parents.
Putting it on a third party and letting them know that there are lawyers and judges involved and there are rules that as a family you have to abide by is very important.
To help them understand, give examples of other professionals that the family’s been using throughout their life such as tutors, medical doctors, accountants etc.
I’m sure that throughout the years, they’ve seen or have experienced you going to some of these professionals and receiving their services. They are the ones that have expertise in giving support to an individual or the family.
So just like when you go to those professionals, when a family goes through a divorce, you consult with attorneys and judges. You seek advice and counsel because there are important parenting guidelines and boundaries that need to be followed.
You may have to be specific and write out the schedule, time frames and designated meeting places where you are going to be dropping off and receiving your children.
These are specific things that are third party. The finger is not being pointed at either one of the parents and it will be easier to communicate and be better received by your child.
Also let the children know that these professionals care about what their thoughts are, and if they want to express them, encourage them to share either verbally or in writing. This way they’ll feel like they are being heard and their needs or wants can be responded to.
Communication is so important in all relationships including those outside of your immediate family. Be sure to keep two way communication open with your child as they transition through divorce.
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Support System Inc.
Founder of Empowering Children Of Divorce
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