Going through a divorce is an emotionally painful experience for everyone involved, but especially for children. Kids may not understand every detail of the situation, but they know that their family is changing, and things won’t be the same.
As parents, you want to give your kids a safe and healthy environment for growth. Watching them struggle with divorce is the last thing you want to do. How can you make this stressful time a little easier for them?
Here are a couple of tips you should consider:
- Remind your child that divorce is not their fault. Many children might believe that they’re to blame for the divorce. You must reassure them that it’s not. Remind them that you and your ex love them and that your child is not the cause for your fighting or deteriorating relationship.
- Keep to your child’s regular schedule. A familiar structure can help children excel in their development. Divorce causes many shifts in schedules as you finalize custody orders and other details, but the longer you can stick as close to your child’s usual schedule, the easier the transition will be.
- Don’t fight where your child can see. Arguments with your partner may be inevitable, but you should do your best to keep them away from your children. When kids get stuck in the middle of a divorce, it can affect the way they view their parents or cause them to choose sides. Avoid talking badly your ex in front of your kids and keep heated arguments as private as possible.
- Listen to your child’s feelings. You must take the time to talk and listen to your children during this difficult time. Your kids likely have opinions about custody or other factors surrounding the divorce, and you should take all of it into consideration when making decisions that will affect their lives as well.
- Try to maintain a civil relationship with your ex. Depending on how badly your marriage deteriorated, this may not always be possible. However, divorced couples who can stay friendly with their ex can make the transition to separation smoother for their kids. At the very least, staying open and kind in front of your children will help build a positive and safe environment.
The divorce process can be exhausting and challenging. When you have children, it’s even more so. Taking the time to gently discuss the situation with your children and providing them with a semblance of familiarity will make this rough time a little smoother. And soon enough, you’ll be able to offer a new and healthy life for your children.