Going through a divorce can be one of the most traumatic experiences any married couple can go through. After committing to a lifetime of togetherness, it is not easy to let go of promises that each one has made.
It is a highly stressful time for both parties. However, the experience can be just as distressing for children. They have to face a new reality, losing their sense of security with both parents around.
Their reaction to divorce depends on how old they are, their temperament, and the conditions surrounding the divorce proceedings.
Sadly, children will always be affected by a divorce, going through many emotions, from sadness to anger and frustration. Some may even begin to blame themselves for the situation, not understanding that their parents have issues that have nothing to do with them.
And while they can eventually learn how to deal with the circumstances, it is still essential to help them cope with everything they are going through. Check out the Parentgood app and have the experts assist you during this difficult time in your children’s life.
Below are some ways to help your children cope with your divorce.
Allow them to express how they feel
No matter what emotions they are going through, it would help to encourage your children to speak out and express their feelings. Let them know that it is all right to feel the way they do and understand what they are going through. It may not be easy to hear what they have to say, especially if they think that you may have pushed the other parent away.
However, your children need to know that you are there to listen and that you take whatever they have to say seriously. If they cannot put those feelings into words, you can determine how they feel through their behavior.
From there, you may prompt them to speak up by asking them leading questions that will make them open up.
Avoid exposing your kids to your conflicts
Many parents going through a divorce have difficulty keeping their resentments between them. Often, children are around when heated discussions between their parents erupt, which can hurt them even more than they already are.
It is stressful enough to know that they will no longer have both mom and dad around without seeing them fighting. If you have things to settle with your spouse, do it away from your children and lessen the burden they are dealing with.
Don’t make your children choose sides
You and your spouse are parents to your children and have raised them together. Therefore, your children look up to and love you both. It would be unfair to make them feel they would have to choose sides now that you have decided to separate.
Instead of speaking ill about your spouse to your children, allow them to feel that you are both there for them and love them unconditionally even if you are no longer together. By doing this, your children will feel more secure and comfortable knowing that you are both on the same page when it comes to them.
Seek help when you need it
Going through a divorce is not easy and, understandably, you will need someone to talk to who can help you sort through your feelings. You may find support groups helpful as they share the same experiences you are going through.
There are other people who you may feel comfortable talking to, whether from religious affiliations or professionals. They offer sound advice, speaking from experience or expertise in situations like yours.
By seeking help, you can be a better example for your children looking up to you to adjust healthily to the current situation. If they see how you can handle the circumstances, not necessarily with ease but with a healthy approach, they are further strengthened and more hopeful about the future.
A divorce may mark the end of your relationship with your spouse, but it does not stop you from being parents. As you go through the process, consider that your children also feel the strain and need your help to cope.