By Jenna Lee
Divorce is a stressful experience, which is made even more difficult when there are children involved. Telling your children that you love them and providing them with a sense of stability can help to make the process easier for your little ones. Here are a few useful tips to get you started:
Tell your kids about the divorce
Tell your kids about your divorce by giving them an honest and simple explanation that is appropriate to their age. Avoid giving them too many details or blaming either parent. Be empathetic when you’re sharing the news with them and allow them to ask any questions they have. Make sure that your children know that it’s not their fault. Be patient and make sure that you tell them that you love them.
Don’t involve your children in conflicts
Avoid involving your children in any disputes with your partner. Don’t share your worries with them or confide in them about financial issues. Rather than burdening them with adult problems, phone a friend or talk to a mental health professional. It’s important to ensure that your children don’t overhear these difficult conversations either.
Maintain a routine
Try to stick to your children’s routine as much as possible. Discuss any changes to their routine with them ahead of time so that they are aware of any adjustments that need to be made. Divorce is likely to be disruptive, so it’s essential to offer your children as much stability as you can.
Communicate with your ex-partner
While you may feel resentment towards your ex-partner, don’t talk badly about them to your children. Encourage your children to continue their relationship with your ex-partner as they need support from both of you. Let your ex-partner know about school activities so that they can be involved in your children’s lives.
Allow your children to grieve
Divorce is often traumatic for children and they need time to grieve their loss. Spend time with each child individually and encourage them to share their emotions with you. Listen to them closely and help them to put their feelings into words. Let them know that they have a safe space to share whatever is on their mind with you without any fear of your disapproval. Rather than quickly trying to offer advice, focus on acknowledging their emotions and concerns.
Making your children feel loved and cared for goes a long way towards helping them to cope with divorce. If you or your children are struggling, make an appointment with a mental health professional.