When parents divorce, a primary concern is often how the process will affect their children. Many parents worry they will lose their relationship with their child, or that a child will not be able to handle the situation in a healthy, safe way.
Divorce can indeed be hard on children, and it can change how often they are with a parent. However, there are steps every parent can take to help a child through this process and cope with new challenges.
Tips for helping your kids
- Talk to your children. While you should not discuss the bitter details of the divorce process with your kids, talking to them about their feelings and what is happening can be critical. Keep the conversations age-appropriate, and let them know it’s okay to feel scared or angry, but that it’s not their fault. Be sure they know they can talk to you as things change. More tips on talking to your kids about a divorce can be found in this article.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Divorce is draining on parents, and often parents can become consumed with what they are going through and what they want. However, making an effort to set your goals and challenges aside to consider things from your child’s perspective can help you relate better and make choices that are in their best interests.
- Keep the mudslinging to a minimum. Most children will continue to see both parents after divorce, so it can be crucial for parents to avoid badmouthing their ex in front of their children. Regardless of your feelings toward your ex, your children should have the chance to enjoy positive, fulfilling relationships with both parents.
- Minimize disruptions. Consistency during an otherwise turbulent time can be highly beneficial for children. Whenever possible, try to keep things consistent for your child, particularly when it comes to their daily routine.
- Get help for them. You might have attorneys, accountants, child custody professionals, realtors and other professionals helping you navigate a divorce. Your children should have support, as well. This support could come from mental health professionals, family members, teachers, and others who can provide comfort, guidance, and encouragement.
Taking these steps during a divorce can ultimately provide children with the essential security they need, and allow them to experience fewer challenges during a very challenging time.