When you go through a divorce, it will inevitably affect your children. Because of that, you must be extra concerned about your children apart from taking care of your own mental and emotional health.
Remember that the stress of this life-changing event can affect your children differently. How they cope depends on their age, personality type, and even the overall circumstances of your divorce. Regardless of how strong they are, it’s your and your soon-to-be ex-partner’s responsibility to provide them all the support they need before, during, and after the divorce.
While a divorce can introduce a lot of challenges and adjustments, you can get help to make it easier for you. The less stressed you are, the more you can be there for your kids. For example, you can get therapy to manage the emotional baggage and consult a family law attorney to smoothen out legal concerns.
Remember, a divorce doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience, particularly for your children. Guiding them through this ordeal and explaining to them what’s going on can help them become stronger and more tolerant adults. And even if the divorce’s over, your responsibility to your kids to overcome it isn’t done yet.
However, if you’re at a loss on what exactly to do, below are some tips that will surely come in handy.
1. Be Involved As Much As You Can With Your Children
Typically, children with divorced parents tend to visit the other parent, especially if their parents aren’t on good terms. If you and your ex live in the same town, visitation isn’t going to be a big concern and it may be easier for the children to adjust. But if you live far apart like one flight away, this is where it can become challenging.
Remember that it’s crucial to be involved as much as you can with your children. It might be advantageous if you’re the one with custody. However, if you’re limited to visitations only, then you might need to rely on some workarounds if you’re too far away from them.
For example, you can text and call your children more. And if you’re on vacation, make sure to visit them. As much as possible, make the kids feel as if you’re still there with them just like before.
Always get involved with them. Your child may feel alienated or neglected if you become out of touch with them for a long time. Also, know that separation from a parent can even cause health problems to children with divorced parents.
2. Break The News As Soon As Possible To Your Children
If your children aren’t in the loop yet with your divorce, talk to them about it as soon as possible. It’s not fair for them to hear this news from someone else, especially from other parents or their peers at school. The earlier you break the news to your children, the sooner they can also start adjusting.
Just be sure, however, that you and your ex stay calm during the talk. Don’t become upset or angry. Otherwise, this will only make it harder for your kids to start on a positive foot.
3. Be Very Clear They Aren’t The Cause Of Your Divorce
It’s not surprising for children to feel as if they’re the root cause of the separation of their parents. This is especially true for young children. Unlike teens, kids and adolescents may not clearly understand the concept of divorce.
Remember that if you don’t explain the reason well enough, they might mistakenly believe that they made mistakes that caused your family to break apart. After you break the news to them, make it clear that they’re not the reason and your children, you should make it clear that they aren’t the cause and assure them that they did nothing wrong.
4. Don’t Talk Ill About The Other Parent
Even if you may find it challenging to be amicable with your ex, such as when your divorce was because of abuse or adultery, at least put up a good front to your kids. Never talk ill about the other parent, as this may confuse your children and cause more problems in the future.
Make it a point that your kids wouldn’t feel that they need to choose one parent over another. It’ll be a lot easier for their adjustment and recovery when your kids don’t harbour any ill feelings towards the other parent.
When you go through a divorce, your children suffer as well. However, you have the power and responsibility to make it easy for them. It takes a lot of love, care, and support from you and your ex-spouse to make your kids move on and realise that it’s a part of life.
If you can be amicable towards each other for your children, then that’s better. Most importantly, you don’t have to walk through this situation alone. If you have other family members and friends who are truly there for you, then make the most out of this circle. Going through counselling helps, too.