It is estimated that as many as 50% of marriages end in divorce. Of those, a number will involve children. Divorce can be a very stressful, excruciatingly painful, and even traumatic experience for all parties involved. However, for children in particular, how they react very much depends on age, personality, and the circumstances of the separation and divorce process. Divorce affects all children, but there are things you can do as a parent to help your children through such a difficult time.
How to Make Divorce Less Painful for Your Kids
Sharing the News of an Impending Divorce
Your kids may already have realized something’s not right between you, so it’s crucial that you talk to your kids as soon as you’ve made the decision to live apart.
It’s not going to be an easy conversation, but that doesn’t mean you should put it off.
Leave feelings of anger, hurt, guilt, or blame out of the conversation and try not to get angry or upset during the talk.
The best explanation for your situation is that adults change the way they feel about each other after some time, or can’t agree on things, and so the best thing is to live apart.
Handling Your Children’s Reaction
If your children become upset about the news, it’s essential that you recognize and care about their feelings. What’s more, you need to reassure them that it’s OK for them to feel that way.
Some children take a little while to digest the information and their reactions surface days or even weeks later. They’re going to have a whole host of questions about the future, so try to answer them as honestly as possible.
Helping Them Cope
It’s very possible that your children will hold out hope that you’ll get back together someday, even after the divorce is final. You can help them through such feelings and help them cope with the upset of divorce by encouraging honesty, helping them put their feelings into words, legitimizing their feelings, and offering your support.
When discussing details of your divorce with friends, family, or your divorce solicitor in Bath, take steps to ensure privacy. Try to be as civil as possible with your ex, especially in front of your children.
Consistency and routine provide comfort and familiarity, both of which are very helpful when your family is going through such a drastic life change. Your children are also going to benefit from one-on-one time with each of you. When you’re figuring out a visitation schedule, try to accommodate your ex-partner as much as you can.
Keep Arguments to a Minimum
Arguments are an inevitable part of a divorce, but if the environment they’re living in is a constant battleground of hostility and unresolved conflict, it’s going to place a heavy burden on your children. When their parents are constantly screaming, arguing, fighting, or being violent, they are going to feel worried and afraid. If you’ve got grievances, try talking with a mediator or divorce counselor.
Several types of living situation should be considered. Which one is right for your children is a tough one to answer. It’s also the one question that couples tend to argue over at length. Whatever arrangements are considered, the needs of your children should always be of paramount importance.