And by maintaining a working relationship with your ex, you can help your kids avoid the stress and anguish that comes with watching parents in conflict.
With your support, your kids can not only successfully navigate this unsettling time, but even emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong.
To help your kids let go of this misconception: Set the record straight. Sometimes hearing the real reason for your decision can help. Kids may seem to “get it” one day and be unsure the next.
Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.
They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings.
You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. They may blame you for the divorce but if they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them. As children age and mature, they often have new questions, feelings, or concerns about what happened, so you may want to go over the same ground again and again. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them.
When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up.
Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing what you’re going to say before you sit down to talk.
Help your kids adjust to change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their daily lives.
For kids, divorce can feel like an intense loss—the loss of a parent, the loss of the family unit, or simply the loss of the life they knew.
You can help your children grieve their loss and adjust to new circumstances by helping them express their emotions. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really to them.
For children, divorce can be an especially sad, stressful, and confusing time.
At any age, kids may feel shocked, uncertain, or angry at the prospect of mom and dad splitting up.