Divorce is not easy. It can be devastating for anyone, whether you were the one who wanted it or not. If you are a parent, you can’t just think about yourself. Your children are going to need you to be strong so that you can help them through this difficult time.
Here are some tips to help your children through the divorce.
Have a plan. Before you involve the children, make sure that you and your ex-spouse have a plan in place. Your children are going to want to know where they are going to live and what the custody plan is. Even if the final plans are not set in stone, your children are going to look to you for answers.
Always be honest. It can be easy to tell your children that everything is fine and that your ex-spouse is away working. However, that is not going to work. You need to tell them the truth. Divorce is becoming more common so they probably have some friends who are going through the same thing.
Listen and be prepared to answer some questions. When you decide to tell your children, make sure that you both sit them down and have ample time to talk to them. They may need to talk through their feelings. Many children will have a lot of questions that they are going to want answered.
Most children worry that the divorce is their fault. It is your job to convince them that it is not. Even though you may tell them that in the beginning, you may have to repeat yourself several times for weeks. No matter what you do, you need to make sure that they understand this.
Be patient. Divorce is a loss. You are losing the future that you envisioned. Your children are losing their home. You (and your children) are going to have to deal with this news in your (and their) own way. Be patient with yourself. You are going to need time to heal.
Your children need and deserve the same. Give them space when they need it. Be available to talk when they need a shoulder to cry on. Let your children know that you will be there for them whenever they need it.
Always keep your children out of the fighting. Though you may have been fighting for a while, your children really don’t need to see it anymore. Have all conversations away from the children. It might even help to communicate through e-mail and text messages so your arguments don’t get heated.
You also shouldn’t put your children in the middle. Many feel like they have to choose sides and that isn’t fair. They deserve to have two parents who love them in their lives.
You may want to get professional help, to help your family through this time. You may need an outlet to get your feelings out and your children need the same. Therapy allows everyone to talk freely (and without judgment) so that everyone can work through their feelings in their own way.
Divorce can be devastating on children. However, as parents, you need to work together to help your children through this time. Make sure that you are always honest and upfront with them. They deserve to know what is happening. Take time to reassure them that it is not their fault. Be there when they need you and give them space when they want it.
You may want to consider getting help. A therapist can really help everyone deal with their feelings in their own way. It can really make a difference, not only for you, but your children!
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