Divorce is challenging for children – but it doesn’t have to be devastating. There are steps you can take to minimize the negative impact that a divorce can have on your children. While they aren’t all easy, they are well worth the effort.
Review the following five items that have been shown to help children of divorce cope better before, during, and long after this traumatic event.
1. Intentionally Model Maturity
While this will certainly be extremely difficult, both you and your spouse should make a conscious decision to model maturity in front of your children. This can show your children how to respond in a healthy, adult way even when facing difficult situations in a relationship.
2. Minimize Changes to Your Childrens’ Lives
By its very nature, divorce is a life altering event for everyone involved. For the children, this can be especially difficult because they will feel like they have absolutely no control or stability. With this in mind, do all you can to minimize the changes that they have to go through. For example, try not have them change schools, and whenever possible, allow them to continue in the sports they like or other activities that they are used to.
3. Tell Your Kids First
Both you and your spouse should take the time to sit down with your children and talk to them about your decision. To the extent possible, they should be among the first to know because you never want them to hear this type of news from someone else. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about what you will say, and be very supportive of each other during this time.
4. Make Sure Kids Know It Is Not Their Fault
Many kids mistakenly think that the divorce of their parents is their fault. Both parents need to take an active role in assuring them that they are in no way to blame for the divorce. This should be stressed during the initial announcement, but then remind them of this fact again and again over the coming months.
5. Never Have Kids Take Sides
You should never ask your children to take sides in an argument, or choose who they want to live with. Your children should always be actively encouraged to love and respect both parents throughout this process.
Divorce is always difficult for both parents and children. Consider these tips in order to get through it with as few problems as possible. If you have any questions about divorce, or you need help with the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!