Divorce can be tough on you, but it can be even more difficult for your children. And seeing them struggle with the pain and anger they’ll experience can be crushing. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and watch your children suffer. Instead, you can implement strategies that seek to protect your children’s emotional and psychological well-being so that they can successfully move onto the next chapter of their lives.
How to help your children cope with the realities of divorce
Regardless of how your children are responding to your divorce, there are actions you can take to make the process easier for them. This includes:
- Allowing them to experience their emotions: Your children are going to experience a lot of emotions as your divorce progresses. Suppressing those feelings isn’t healthy. So, encourage your child to recognize and accept the various emotions they’ll feel. After all, losing their parents’ marriage is like losing a part of their well-established life, so they’ll need to go through the grieving process.
- Being willing to answer their questions: Given that their sense of the world will be shattered to a certain extent, your children are going to have a lot of questions as they try to process what’s happening around them. Be able and willing to answer questions about your marriage and divorce while being honest. Just don’t be so honest as to negatively impact your child’s perception of you or their other parent.
- Avoiding blaming the other parent: Your children are probably going to have a relationship with their other parent, regardless of how you feel about your former spouse. That relationship very well could be beneficial to your children, which is why you don’t want to disrupt it. So, avoid playing the blame game or talking badly about the other parent when around your children. Laying blame on your former spouse or talking bad about them can backfire and cause damage to your relationship with your children, too.
- Helping your children find stability: Your divorce is going to feel chaotic to your children, and they’re going to feel like their future is riddled with uncertainty. But you can help your children find the stability that they need. Talking to the other parent about this might help provide consistency and routine between two households, as you and the other parent can then take similar approaches to household rules, discipline, and daily structure.
- Reminding your children that they’re not to blame for the divorce: Children tend to internalize the bad things that go on around them. Don’t let your kids feel like they’re to blame for your divorce. You’ll need to tell them that directly so that they understand and aren’t left wondering what they’ve done wrong. Remind your children that you love them regardless of what happens moving forward, too, as they’ll need that comfort and reassurance.
- Don’t lose focus on yourself: If you want to be a good parent to your children, then you have to take care of yourself. Try to get plenty of rest, seek out emotional and mental health support, and find hobbies that renew your interests in life. You should also avoid drug and alcohol abuse that could jeopardize your relationship with your children and any pending custody orders.
Craft the divorce legal strategy that works for you
Your divorce strategy can have a direct impact on your children’s well-being. That’s why now is the time to start thinking about how to successfully dissolve your marriage. But you’ll have to carefully craft your strategy if you want to protect your children’s well-being throughout the process. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, then please consider browsing the rest of our website and educating yourself on what the divorce process entails.