The divorce process can be stressful and challenging even for adults. For children, the uncertainty and worry involved in these proceedings can be even worse. Finding ways to help your children positively deal with their feelings can help them cope with this process more easily. Here are some proven ways to help your children adjust to life during and after your divorce.
Keep Hostility and Negativity Away From the Children
If you and your former spouse are still at odds during and after your divorce, do your best to keep your anger and conflict away from your children. Try to stay positive in both your attitude and your comments about the other parent. This can provide children with a much-needed sense of calm and balance during your divorce proceedings.
Be as Honest as Possible
Sharing every detail of your relationship or your divorce with your children is not recommended. Letting them know in general terms why you and your partner are divorcing and explaining the general plan for living arrangements, visitation and custody can often help to put your children at ease during this difficult time. By practicing honesty and openness, you can ensure that your children feel included and loved during the process of divorce.
Strive for Normalcy
If you can manage it, allowing your children to continue to live in the same home and to attend the same schools can provide them with an added sense of security while your divorce proceedings are being finalized. If you must move for financial reasons, explain the situation honestly. Older children may even be given a voice regarding the new living arrangements to help them feel more in control of the situation.
Be Ready for Questions
Your children are likely to have many questions about their future living arrangements, schooling and the relationship they will have with each of their parents. Think about the answers to these questions before sitting down to have the big talk. This can allow you to appear more confident and positive throughout your discussions with your children. In many cases, your kids will look to you to determine how to react. Staying calm and answering their questions honestly can go a long way toward ensuring that your children maintain their trust in you during your divorce.
Adjusting to your divorce can be stressful for both you and your partner. Try to accommodate changes in visitation pick-up and drop-off times whenever possible. This can help your partner manage these responsibilities during the critical transitional period during and just after your divorce. Additionally, by showing empathy and flexibility to your former spouse, you can often create a better rapport that can help you work together as parents more effectively in the future.
These tips on how to help children cope with divorce can provide you with added confidence when dealing with the emotional aspects of this process. By taking your child’s unique personality into account and tailoring your approach to their needs, you can navigate the divorce process more effectively on their behalf.