Children in Hawaii may suffer when their parents go through a divorce. It is well-known that kids can feel alone and insecure when their parents separate. They may fear being abandoned themselves or torn between their loyalties to both of their parents. For some children, the psychological scars of a parental divorce can persist for years to come. However, parents can also take action to help support their children to emerge from the divorce with a relatively positive experience and strong relationships with both parents. When parents take the lead, they can help their children to deal with change in a healthy manner.

When parents divorce, they are not bringing their relationship to an end. Because of the children, they are transforming their relationship from a romantic partnership to a co-parenting agreement. When parents can put their differences aside to work together for the children, this can lead to better outcomes for everyone. Parents who cooperate in co-parenting can also help to lessen the damaging feeling of divided loyalties to their parents. Children can feel comfortable and safe expressing love for both of their parents without fearing that they will offend one parent by mentioning the other.

Parents can help to do this by avoiding negative talk about their former partners in front of the children. While kids should feel invited to express their emotions in an open and honest environment, parents can set boundaries about what they share about their adult conflicts. Children should never feel as if they are their parents’ therapists or confidantes.

Divorce can be a time of significant changes for children, even on a practical level as they move from one parent’s home to the other. A family law attorney might work with divorcing parents to reach an agreement on key issues like child custody, visitation and child support.