A divorce is difficult on everyone involved, especially children. They may not completely understand what’s happening and feel scared and overwhelmed. If you’re currently in the middle of a divorce, you may worry about how your kids will cope. Here are a few different ways to help your kids through a divorce.
Consider Your Children’s Ages
How you tell your children about your divorce will depend on their ages. Younger children won’t be able to grasp the complexities of divorce while older children may be able to understand more. Although you don’t have to tell them every intimate detail about your divorce, you should tell your children enough information to help them understand the situation.
Let Your Children Know That They Aren’t to Blame
Many children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. They might believe if they behaved better, their parents would still be together. That’s why it is important for you to explain to your kids that they are not to blame for your divorce. Tell them that you and your spouse don’t get along anymore and they don’t have anything to do with that.
Remain Civil with the Other Parent
While you may be angry with your spouse, you don’t want to let your children see you constantly fight with him or her. This can increase their emotional distress. Instead, try to remain as cordial as you can with the other parent. Likewise, you should never badmouth the other parent in front of your kids.
Encourage Your Children to Express Their Emotions
The last thing you want is for your children to keep their emotions bottled up. Encourage your kids to talk about how they’re feeling and ask you questions. If your children know that you welcome communication, they may feel more comfortable talking to you about their feelings.
Some children may not feel comfortable sharing their feelings about a divorce because they’re afraid of upsetting one or both parents. If this is the case, you may want to have your children talk to a mental health therapist. Everything your children say to the therapist will remain confidential. A therapist will help your kids come to terms with their feelings and teach them healthy coping mechanisms.