Any divorce is traumatic, but when children are involved, the stress levels sky rocket for parents. Everyone has heard horror stories about children of divorce that turn to drugs or violence and parents want to keep their children as happy as possible. While nothing is a guarantee, there are many things parents can do to help their children cope with the divorce.
- Tell them together. Tell your children about the divorce together, if at all possible. Make sure that you don’t lay blame on either parent or let anger or hurt become the focus of the discussion. Simply tell your children you have decided to live apart and that each of you will always love them and will continue to be part of their lives.
- Don’t fight around the children. Negative emotions are a given in any divorce, but you need to keep those loud, angry discussions away from your children. If you cannot see each other without the scene becoming angry, arrange to have someone else pick up and drop off the kids. This included phone calls – if you are going to be nasty to your spouse, do it when the kids are not around.
- Keep legal talk private. Most children will not understand the legal talk and it may scare them to hear details about living with one parent or about money decisions. Meet somewhere neutral to discuss the divorce.
- Keep their lives stable. As much as possible, keep the children’s routines as normal as possible. Try to keep them in the same home and school so they have the support of their friends. Stability is what everyone craves, even when life is falling apart around them.
- Make sure both parents are involved. Remember that your divorce means you don’t want to be together, not that you are no longer parents. You both love the children as much as ever and should be able to stay involved with their lives. If you are the residential parent, make sure your ex knows about sporting or school events so they can attend. You may not like doing this at all, but remember – this is what is best for your children.
The best thing parents can do to help their children deal with the divorce is to strive for an amicable divorce. This means you will work together for the best settlement for all of you. Working together shortens the length of the process and allows all of you to move on with your lives sooner. Being friendly with your ex shows your children respect and that is an important thing for children to see and learn.
If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our ebook “Win your Divorce.” This ebook gives you the information you need as you start your divorce, work through the details and start your new life. Grab your copy here.