When Pennsylvania spouses come to the difficult decision to end the marriage, a host of difficult issues inevitably arise. However, one of the most vexing concerns is likely to be how best to mitigate the emotional and developmental harm the process may do to the children produced by the union. Fortunately, it is possible for divorcing parents to step back, assess the situation honestly and realize that the split may in fact be the best thing for the children’s future mental health.
Normalizing the experience
Despite divorce being an extremely common occurrence in modern American life, there are still many who seem to attach a stigma to the failure of a marriage. As such, they may prolong the necessary marital dissolution decision-making and live in a sub-optimal home environment for far too long. This can lead to:
- Ongoing hostility in the home
- Use of harsh language around children
- Emotional abuse
- Generalized tension at all times
However, by taking the time to realize and also explain to children that divorce is not unusual and does not mean the loss of parental support, they can start to see for themselves that their future may indeed be much brighter if Mom and Dad part, but remain dedicated co-parents at the same time.
Reassurance through co-parenting
The key to ensuring that the process and aftermath of divorce do not harm — and may ultimately benefit — minor children is for the soon-to-be-former spouses to make a firm commitment to co-parenting in a peaceful and less destructive way than sometimes happens when marriages end.
By making it clear through words, actions and, ideally, via collaboratively reached custodial and support arrangements, it is possible to clearly convey to kids that while their parents’ marriage may be ending, their love and dedication to the children they brought into the world is for life.