How to Support Your Children During a Divorce
Posted in Divorce on August 14, 2018
Divorce has an inherently negative connotation, but there are some cases in which divorce is an indisputably good thing for the spouses involved. However, for a divorcing couple with children, the news that the parents’ marriage is ending is likely to hit the children the hardest. No matter how you and your ex-spouse feel about one another, it is absolutely crucial to put your children first and support them through what could be one of the most difficult experiences of their young lives. The way you and your former spouse approach your divorce and support your children through it and after it can have drastic effects on your relationships with your kids.
If you’re looking for help mediating or finalizing your divorce, speak to a Fort Mill family lawyer today.
Keep Explanations Simple
You don’t have to divulge intimate details about the breakdown of your marriage to your children. They are going to be confused about why their family life is changing, so keeping your explanations as simple as possible is for the best. Instead of detailing all the things you and your former partner don’t like about one another, simply tell your children that their parents are tired of fighting all the time and it would be better for everyone if they lived in different houses.
Maintain Both Parents’ Relationships
If the divorce is a mutually agreeable one and neither spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, the parents should put their differences aside and make sure their kids know that both of their parents still love them and will continue to be a part of their lives. The time they spend with their parents may change, but the parents must do everything they can to make sure the kids know their parents’ feelings for them haven’t changed and that both parents still love them.
Reassure Your Children
Communication is crucial during any divorce, especially one involving children. Your kids may have questions about what’s going to happen to their home, their school, their routines, and more. Have frank and honest talks with your kids about the logistics of the divorce as well as their feelings. It’s very common for children of divorcing parents to act out for attention or out of confusion during this time, so try and keep an open mind and address your children’s concerns as they arise. Be understanding that the divorce may be easy to understand for you and your ex, but your children may not understand any of it and simply see it as their whole life upended.
Keep It Civil
Even if you and your spouse are not on good terms during and after the divorce, it’s important to stay civil and refrain from saying bad things about your ex-spouse. Undermining your children’s relationship with your ex will not help any aspect of your situation, and it will only foster resentment among your family. Children love and need both of their parents, so it’s vital to put your personal issues aside for the sake of maintaining a healthy and nurturing environment for your kids.
Try Family Counseling
After a divorce, you and your former spouse should consider family counseling, if you find the transition difficult, or if your children are having trouble making sense of the situation. A family counselor can help you develop healthy communication strategies and understand each other better. Children will also benefit from family counseling because it will provide them with a safe environment to talk about their feelings. You can also explore individual counseling for your children if you believe they are really struggling to cope with the divorce.
Divorce is never an easy subject, but with preparation and diplomacy, you can make the transition to two households much easier for your whole family. The keys to a successful transition after a divorce are honesty, communication, and sympathy, especially when it comes to children. If you and your ex keep your children your top priority, eventually everyone will come to better terms with your new reality.