Divorce is very difficult to deal with for adults, so just imagine how much more challenging it is for children. When parents get separated or divorced, children are often left wondering what went wrong and thinking that perhaps they are to blame for it and no child should ever have to think that way.
If you’re going through a separation or a divorce with your spouse, it would be best to talk about how the both of you can work together to make the change as easy as possible for your kids.
Below are 5 ways that can make the divorce transition easier on your child/children.
1. Communicate So that Your Children Will Understand
Kids are not as naive as we often think. Their brains are operating even faster than ours, as they grow and learn they often understand more than they let on. It's better for you and your children, in the long run, to talk to them candidly about what is going on rather than trying to hide things from them. Tell them that your separation or divorce is a mutual decision and that you and your spouse still love them and that will never change.
Help them feel that they still have a family to fall back on and most importantly that they are not in any way shape or form to blame. The more they understand what is going on, the easier it will be for them to handle it, no matter what age.
2. Think of Your Kid(s)’ Emotional Safety
It is inevitable to fight over assets and even small things when splitting up, but doing so in front of the kids can make them feel as though they’d have to choose a side to go with…or worse, that the parents will fight over them or wouldn’t want to be stuck with them. Save the drama for the family divorce lawyer and protect your kids from this emotional toll.
3. Make Your Child Feel Secure and Loved
If your kids are old enough, include them in family talks. Listen to what they have to say and tell them that you love them. Let them know that the fact that you’re divorcing or separating does not mean not having their best interest at heart, and that both you and your ex still feel the same way about them as always.
4. Don’t Make Your Child Pick a Side
Kids need both parents. No matter whether you think one child favours one parent over the other, you should not belittle a child’s love and attachment towards any parent.
Yes, it would be easy to agree on one parent getting most of the custody but doing so can result in the child thinking that the other parent does not want to be around, creating trust issues and resentment.
It would be best to foster the child’s relationship to both sides of the family and encourage communication. Children need to feel a sense of belongingness.
5. Don’t Complicate Matters
Your children can deal better with divorce if they aren’t made to deal with a multitude of changes at a given time. If you go through a child custody battle and must split their time between parents, then be sure to have what they need at both houses.
Remember, the goal is to make them feel that they now have two homes, not to make them feel that going from one home to another needs to feel like an exodus with them carrying clothes and basic needs from one house to another.
Above all though, children need to feel secure and loved. If you can provide both of those, you and your children will benefit greatly.