Helping Children Cope with Divorce
You and your spouse have decided to part ways. You’ve done your research and hired a leading divorce attorneyto assist you with your case. You are almost ready to fully proceed with the divorce process, but you still need to explain to your children what is happening. Divorce can be a difficult transition, especially for children. A child may not fully understand what is going on and they will start to ask themselves questions. Questions like, “Are my parents getting divorced because they no longer love me?”, “Does this mean I won’t see my father/mother anymore?”, or “Why is this happening?”.
A child’s questions and anxieties regarding divorce can be easily addressed with the right approach. While explaining the situation to children, parents must remember to be honest, patient and caring. It is imperative to let your child know that you love them, and while there will be changes, you will work with the child to make the transition as seamless as possible.
To help the child cope with his or her parents divorcing, it is vital to try to remain civil towards your former spouse. If possible, it is best if both parents agree on what to tell the child, and have the same answers for any questions that may arise. It is important to be honest with your children, but make it a point to not blame the other spouse for the divorce. Children can easily pick up on tensions, and this will make the situation more stressful for the child. The divorce process, and transition afterwards, will be less stressful on the child if the parents maintain a friendly, working relationship. Listen to your children and encourage them to express their concerns and fears. Chances are your child will think that the divorce is their fault. Reassure them that it isn’t.
One of the most important ways to help your children cope with divorce is to be patient. They may seem understanding one day, and confused the next. Remind your children that it is possible to a have loving and meaningful relationship with both parents. While the physical family unit is changing, the idea and notion of family isn’t. Let your children know that yes, this transition will be difficult, but it is not impossible. There will be hardships, but with love, support, honesty and patience, they will be overcome.