Making sure that your children deal with the divorce process in the most positive way possible is essential to reduce the impact of this event on their lives. Children and teenagers can often conceal their distress during divorce proceedings. Finding ways to talk to them about their feelings will allow you to make the most positive impact on the lives of your children and their emotional health. Here are some strategies that can make the process easier for your children.
Be Open and Honest
Explaining the situation to your children does not require you to go into detail about the reasons for your divorce or information that may make them feel less secure. Instead, focus on how your divorce will affect them and the steps you and your former spouse will take to help make the transition easier. By creating and maintaining open lines of communication, you will build the foundation for honesty and trust.
Even if your child is expressing anger towards you or your former spouse, it is important to listen to what he or she has to say. In many cases, anger is a mask for true feelings of fear or anxiety about what will happen during the divorce process. A little sensitivity and patience will go a long way toward soothing anger and hurt feelings and providing the right support for your child during this difficult time. By allowing your child to express his or her emotions, you will create a healthier environment for these young members of your family.
Offer Practical Details
Your children may be wondering where they will live and go to school after your divorce is final. Providing them with this information as soon as you know it will allow them to adjust to the new situation more easily. If you are still uncertain about your plans, letting your children and teenagers know that you are still working things out may also be appropriate. While maintaining the same household and the same school is the ideal way to address these issues, it may not be practical for you and your former spouse. Explaining the reasons why you may need to move and the approximate timeframe for this activity will help you build trust and promote the best adjustment for your children during your divorce.
Avoid Arguments With Your Former Spouse
If you or your former partner still harbor anger or unhappiness about the reasons for your divorce, it can be difficult to avoid arguing in front of your children. Most parenting experts discourage indulging in negative feelings and showing hostility toward your former spouse, especially in front of your children. By making an effort to avoid emotional outbursts and work together to support your parenting efforts, you will be able to provide the support and care your children will need to navigate the divorce process more successfully.
By working with an experienced mediation attorney, you and your former spouse can work through some of the adversarial elements of your divorce. This can help make the divorce process easier for you, your former partner and your children.