A divorce is not something you plan for when getting married. Unfortunately, many families face divorce at some point. Going through a divorce can be highly stressful for both parties involved, children especially.
Every divorce will affect kids in some way, whether it be through sadness, anger, frustration, or even worrying. However, as their parents, you can help your children cope with the divorce process so that they use this as a growing experience.
Talking with your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale will help to give you the best advice for your situation. There are also the following top six tips that you can use to help your children cope with a divorce.
Inform the Kids of the Divorce
It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it is essential to talk to your children about the divorce. They’ll need to know that mom and dad will be living apart. Explain why you made this decision and that it was never caused by them. Keep the conversation appropriate for the age, temperament, and maturity of the child. Stay positive, stay optimistic—do not drench the children in negativity. To the contrary, tell them they have a new optimistic life ahead.
Let Them Speak
It’s important that kids can express how they feel in these types of situations. This will mean the parents, both if possible, sit down and listen to them and acknowledge their feelings. If they are struggling, help them put how they feel into words. Provide the children with counseling if needed. They must repair their internal feelings immediately to avoid long-term emotional scarring.
Be Their Support System
Although you’ll have so many things going on in your life with a divorce, it’s crucial that you remain a strong support system for your children. Be there for them, talk to them, ask what will help them feel better. Do NOT complain about the divorce, or your spouse, or the lawyers or the court—these kids have enough to deal with if you must vent, do so with capable adults, not your own children.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
If your children see you upset or stressed out, it will start to seriously affect them. As their primary emotional support system, trying to be as calm and collected as possible will be more beneficial in helping your children cope with the divorce. Approaching the situation angry and frustrated will only get them agitated. Vent your deeper feelings on your own time, in your own space, and not within the sight line of your kids.
Be Kind to Each Other
Kids hear, see, and remember almost everything. You would be shocked to walk in their shoes for 24 hours. If they see you and your partner actively arguing, or if you’re speaking poorly about your life partner when they’re not around, there’s a good chance that they’ll pick up on these things. Being kind and civil to each other will help prevent putting your kids in a difficult situation, or feeling like they need to choose sides. Take the high road. Stay silent when the kids are in the room and handle your “adult business” only with adults in the room.
Reassure They Are Loved
In the end, it’s important to reassure your kids that they are always loved by both parents no matter the divorce outcome. Explain the new living arrangements and express that while you’re with one parent, the other parent still loves them. Money and property rights come and go, your children are the bedrock of your life today and into the future.