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Divorce is challenging. No one ever imagines it’ll happen to them. The involvement of children makes it especially hard. Some people allow their own interests to take over the process, and their kids get lost in the chaos. This article will show you how to support your children through a divorce, so you can avoid a situation like this.
Talk To Them
Sometimes, divorce can be secretive. The reality is that it doesn’t need to be. In fact, parents should keep their children informed throughout the process. Adults should answer any questions they have because remaining quiet about these matters can lead your children to believe they are to blame for the dissolution of the marriage. It’s your responsibility to give them the real reason behind the separation.
Remain a Family
Divorced couples often have hostile feelings toward one another. But divorced parents need to put their emotions aside and let their children know they’ll remain a unit. The goal is to have as little of an impact on the kids as possible. You should continue to do family events together and minimize the number of changes.
Remaining a family also means you should treat your ex-partner with respect. Both parents may want to work together to formulate joint custody and child support agreements, to avoid any future issues.
Kids need to know that their feelings are important to their parents and that they’ll be taken seriously. Kids’ behavior can often clue you into their feelings of sadness or anger. You might say: “It seems as if you’re feeling sad right now. Do you know what’s making you feel so sad?” Be a good listener, even if it’s difficult for you to hear what they have to say.
Saying “I know you feel sad now” or “I know it feels lonely without dad here” lets kids know that their feelings are valid. It’s important to encourage kids to get it all out before you start offering ways to make it better. Let kids know it’s also OK to feel happy or relieved or excited about the future.
Ask, “What do you think will help you feel better?” They might not be able to name something, but you can suggest a few ideas — maybe just to sit together, take a walk, or hold a favorite stuffed animal. Younger kids might especially appreciate an offer to call daddy on the phone or to take a picture to give to mommy when she comes at the end of the day.
Bring Them To a Counselor
Parents must face the reality that their children may not want to share everything with them. Sometimes, kids are more likely to open up to someone they don’t know because of the fear of getting in trouble. You and your former spouse should consider bringing your kids to a counselor the minute you decide to separate. It could be very beneficial for your children to have an outlet for their emotions.
This article has shown you how to support your children through a divorce. No one imagines their marriage ending as they’re saying their wedding vows, but sometimes separation is best for everyone involved. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you put your children’s needs first.