The biggest worry for parents who are divorcing is how to help their children deal with the divorce. We’ve all heard stories about the devastating effect divorce can have on children, but there are just as many children who handle the divorce better than their parents. Use our tips to help your children cope with divorce.
- Keep private details private. Your children don’t need to know all the nasty things that have happened between you and your spouse. Respect their feelings!
- Be honest with them. If your child asks a question that you don’t know the answer to, say so. Don’t make up an answer just to have one. Your kids need to know they can trust what you say.
- Encourage them to share their feelings. You might be surprised – children often know more than parents believe they do. If you and your spouse have been fighting a long time, the divorce may be a relief for your kids. Let them be mad or sad or hurt – whatever they need to be.
- Acknowledge their feelings. Don’t try to tell the kids how they feel or that they shouldn’t feel the way they do.
- Help them express their feelings. Some children have a hard time talking about their feelings. Help your children tell you what they are feeling.
- Let your children’s teachers know what is happening at home. While many people want to keep things like this private, if your child’s teacher is aware of the situation, he/she can let you know if your child is having problems at school that may be related to the divorce. They can also support your child during the day.
- Take care of yourself. This is so important! You simply can’t take good care of your children if you are falling apart yourself. Find ways to fight stress and anxiety. Be sure to eat right and get plenty of sleep. This won’t be easy, but you have to try.
- Keep their routine. Change as little as possible in your children’s lives. If you can, keep them in the same home and school district. Allow them to meet their friends and stay in after-school activities.
- Reassure the children that the divorce is not their fault. As adults, we sometimes forget how young minds work. You may have to tell your children many times that this is not their fault and that you and their other parent loves them as much as ever.
Your children can cope with your divorce with your love and support. If they are having a hard time, or you want extra support, consider taking them to a therapist. Family counseling can do wonders when a divorce happens or you can find a therapist just for your child. Never be ashamed that you are asking for help! You need to always keep your children’s well-being as the most important thing in your mind!
If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our free 7-Day “Divorce 101” course. Sign up below and you’ll immediately start receiving tips and guidance you can use to minimize the pain and time required to get through the divorce process.