Going through a divorce means having to adjust various aspects of life. This is difficult for adults but it is also very tough on children. When their parents go through a divorce, they are forced to make major changes to the only way of life they’ve ever known. They can’t change the situation despite the wishes that they could.
Your child’s age and their mental development will directly impact how they are able to handle the situation. Your attitude and ability to help them will play a part in this. Here are some tips as you embark on the divorce journey with your children:
Be honest about what’s happening
Children have a tendency to remember what their parents say, even though they might not always act like it. Stay honest with them about the divorce. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. This is especially true while you and your ex are still working on the terms of the child custody agreement since there really isn’t any certainty about what is going to happen.
Work through their emotions
Younger children might not be able to relay their emotions and thoughts in a productive way. They might act out when they aren’t sure what else to do. You have to find ways to help them work through these feelings. Older children and teens might know what they are feeling but may be unable to find solutions that help them. They might need assistance in this area.
Don’t let them take the blame
Children have a way of internalizing things like divorce. Be sure that you let them know that they aren’t the reason for the split. While you don’t have to go into the reasons behind the divorce, make sure they understand that there is nothing they could have done that would have changed the outcome of the situation.
Watch what you say
The stress of divorce might lead to having negative thoughts about your ex. Don’t relay these in front of the children. Instead of speaking disrespectfully about your ex, find positive things to say. He or she is still your child’s other parent, so focus on this instead of the marital split. Watching what you say also applies to others who know your ex. You don’t need anyone repeating what you said to him or her since that can cause problems.