Going through a divorce is never easy, and it can be difficult to guide your children through such a challenge. As parents, we want to provide our kids with the support they need during life-changing events. However, it's often hard to know where to even begin. In this blog post, we'll be discussing steps you can take to help your children cope with the aftermath of divorce.
Tips for Helping Kids Cope with Divorce
There’s no universal best way to handle a divorce. Individuals and families must do what works best for them. Still, for divorcing parents and their children, there are recommended ways to deal with divorce. These are generally methods that have worked well for others and give parents the best shot to help their kids cope with divorce in the healthiest way possible. The following are a few tips that can enable parents to help their children deal with their divorce:
- Acknowledge the pain of divorce. Make sure your children know that divorce is hard, and that it's okay to feel sad or angry about it. Divorce can cause a lot of emotional turmoil for children-- the sense of loss, the feeling that something has been taken away from them. Even though parents may be happy with the changes that come with divorce, it is essential to acknowledge how hard it can be on their children. It is important to create a safe space for your kids where they know it is okay to express any hurt or anger they may be experiencing. Talking about how hard divorce can be can help diffuse some of the emotion and encourage healing and closure.
- Be available for questions. Let your kids know you're there to answer any questions or concerns they have. Divorce is an emotionally stressful experience for children, and it can be difficult for them to express their feelings and ask questions. As a parent, it is important to create a safe and calm environment where your children feel comfortable asking questions about their divorce. Let them know that you are ready and willing to answer any questions they have. Being available to answer your children's questions can help promote healthy communication as they come to terms with the aftermath of the divorce.
- Provide emotional support. Listen to your children's feelings and be understanding. Divorce can be difficult and oftentimes overwhelming for children because they may have a hard time processing their emotions after the split of their parents. That's why it is important for divorced parents to provide emotional support by listening to their kids and doing their best to understand how their children are feeling. Taking the time to build trust between you and your children and providing a safe, nonjudgmental space to discuss their feelings can allow them to feel heard and validated. Encouraging your children to express themselves in healthy and productive ways can help them learn how to cope with this new family setup in a positive way.
- Create a routine. A consistent routine can help children who are dealing with the aftermath of their parents' divorce to feel secure and connected to both parents. Create a schedule that allows for regular, predictable times for seeing each parent, as well as for day-to-day activities like homework, meals, and bedtime. When kids know what's coming next, they don't have to spend time worrying about what might happen. Instead, they can focus on taking care of themselves and building a strong relationship with both parents. This will provide much-needed stability in their lives and can even help them develop healthy habits over the long term.
- Give them space. Allow your children time to be alone if they need it, but also make sure they know you are available when they need you. Divorce can be a traumatic event for children, and it’s important to help them process their emotions and figure out how to adjust to the new circumstances. One important way of doing this is giving them space. This includes both physical and emotional space. Doing so not only allows children to spend some time alone whenever they need it but also shows them that you understand they might benefit from some privacy now and then. At the same time, though, it is crucial that children know that you are still there for them when they are feeling lost or overwhelmed. By making sure they understand you want to talk if they ever want help or support, you can ensure that your children have all the necessary tools they need to cope with your divorce.
- Talk positively about the other parent. Encourage each child to maintain relationships with both parents without taking sides or making them choose one over the other. Divorce can be a difficult experience for both parents and their children, and it is important as divorced parents to actively support each other in parenting. One way to do this is for each parent to talk positively about the other parent when engaging with their children. This helps eliminate unnecessary tension or pressure for the child and can help facilitate stability in their lives. In addition, it reinforces the value of maintaining relationships with both parents without making them choose one over the other.
At Arnold Law Group, APC, our legal team has more than 30 years of combined experience successfully guiding clients through the divorce process in Fresno. To discuss your situation with our experienced divorce lawyers in California, give us a call at 559.900.1263 or contact us online today for a confidential consultation.