5 Strategies for Helping Children Adjust to a Divorce
Going through a divorce isn’t easy for you or your children. The process can take its toll on everyone in the family, especially when you know that things will never be the same. As a parent, you need to be there for your child every step of the way and recognize their thoughts and feelings.
Your children may experience a range of emotions during this unsettling time, so here are 5 strategies to help your kids adjust to a divorce.
Explain in Simple Terms
Depending on the age of your children, you may need to explain the divorce process in a straightforward manner. If your divorce is amicable, both parents should be there to explain the situation clearly, letting your child know what is happening. While a toddler will naturally not understand, if you have older children, keeping them in the loop about your divorce is crucial.
Many children may feel as though they are to blame for your divorce, so it’s vital that you provide reassurance from the beginning. Kids tend to believe that their attitude and behavior cause bad events, so it’s your job to assure them that the breakup is a decision made between the adults.
Let Them Express Their Emotions
It’s understandable that your children will experience a range of emotions under the circumstances of a divorce. Showing your child that it’s normal to feel sad, angry and upset will help them feel more comfortable in expressing their feelings. Communication is key throughout a divorce, so if you notice your child is hesitant to talk, letting them know that you’re there for them when they’re ready can make a big difference. Frequently checking in on your kids and asking how they’re feeling about the divorce will give them the green light to be open and honest.
Avoid Blame and Negative Thinking
Whether your divorce is amicable or not, you may experience feelings of anger and frustration. In some cases, you may resent your ex partner which can change your mindset and promote negative thinking. Your children will pick up on this, so try and avoid talking badly or blaming the other parent. Children need reassurance and love from both parents, so thinking positively can help everyone in the situation.
Seek Specialist Help
It can be useful to enlist the help of a family therapist or parenting expert who has experience in divorces. Your children can also benefit from speaking to a therapist on their own, especially as they may worry that their thoughts and feelings will hurt you and the other parent. You can also check out msuewilsonlaw.com to help you find the right divorce lawyer for your case, as they can provide additional guidance and advice.
We all try and do what is best for our children, so if you and your partner have decided to separate, it’s important that your children aren’t caught in the crossfire. The divorce process can be lengthy, so being there to support your kids throughout can help reduce stress levels and anxiety.