It’s no secret that divorce can be incredibly difficult for children, regardless of their age. The process of separating a family and the many disruptions it can cause will often lead to some level of confusion, anxiety, and distress for children. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to make this experience less traumatic for your kids. Follow these steps to keep your children feeling loved and secure despite your divorce.
- Collaborate on custody. Divorces can go from relatively painless to highly distressing for a child if custody disputes come into the picture. Avoid this as much as possible by consulting with a family law specialist sydney to make sure you can calmly come up with a fair custody arrangement that will cause a minimal level of disruption for your children. If disagreements do arise, a trained specialist will be able to help mediate and find solutions so that every party is satisfied.
- Be clear. While it may be difficult to tell your children the hard truth when you’re going through a divorce, it’s important that they clearly understand what is going on so they don’t feel confused and insecure. Be straightforward about the circumstances using language they can understand. The way you explain the situation will vary depending on their age and level of understanding, but make sure they completely comprehend what’s happening to avoid disappointment further down the line.
- Reinforce how loved they are. Make sure your children are aware of how deeply loved they are throughout the divorce process. Both parents should be involved in this step – it’s important that the child understands that the love their parents feel for them hasn’t been diminished in any way by the separation, and that your feelings towards them will never change, no matter what.
- Encourage your children to open up. Some children are very good at expressing their feelings, while others struggle to find the words to explain what’s they’re thinking or experiencing. Encourage your kids to express their feelings whenever they want to, and make plenty of time to sit down together to talk through their emotions. Try to help them feel comfortable enough to express potentially difficult feelings like anger or resentment.
- Skip the blame game. Placing the blame for the divorce on your partner will make your child feel like their loyalty is being torn in two. Share your negative emotionsabout your partner with close friends and don’t bring up your disagreements or anger in front of your children. Encouraging your child to think badly of the other parent won’t make the divorce any less painful.
- Be reliable. This is a good time to demonstrate to your child that they can trust and rely on you. Try to keep their schedule as normal as possible, and don’t allow the divorce stress or your own emotions to get in the way of their routine. They need to know that they can trust you and that life will go on despite the divorce.
- Seek help. If your child seems to be struggling, make sure you seek additional professional support. A child psychologist can be a great resource for kids who are having a difficult time, and they can help the whole family through this tough divorce