Divorce isn’t easy for children, and unfortunately, thousands of children have to make the adjustment every year when their parents get divorced. It’s common for children to experience anxiety and a sense of loss, but there are ways you can ease the transition for them.
Explain the Divorce
You and your former spouse should talk about how you’re going to talk to your children about the divorce. Once you both come up with an agreement, sit down and talk with your children together.
Let Them Know They’re Loved
The first thing you should do is let your children know that they’re loved. Unfortunately, it’s common for children to blame themselves when their parents divorce. They may believe if they behaved better that you and your spouse would still be together. Be sure to constantly reassure your children that they’re loved by you and your former spouse regardless of the circumstances.
Talk about Emotions
Let your children know that it’s normal for them to feel sadness and anger. It can be difficult for them to experience those feelings alone. Let them know that they can talk to you about any emotions they have, and let them know that you can help them process their feelings.
Have a Plan
If your former spouse doesn’t pick up the children when they’re supposed to, take your children to do something they enjoy. Let your children know that they can talk to you about their disappointment without being judged.
Children who are 10 years of age or older should be encouraged to talk to your former spouse so that they can resolve their issues if there are any. It’ll allow your child to express themselves and give them a sense of empowerment, and it may ease their frustration. Tell your child to try to communicate without anger. If they’re uncomfortable talking about issues with the other parent, encourage them to send an email or letter.
Change Visitation Schedule
If you think you need to change the visitation schedule, do it. If the other parent continually misses days and times they’re supposed to pick up the children, talk to your former spouse about what would work best for them.
You should never fight with your former spouse when your children are listening. Research has found that parents who fight while their children are listening or watching don’t adjust well to the divorce.
When your former spouse comes to pick up the children, be sure to seem that you’re happy they’re going to visit their other parent. If you have a negative reaction, your child may feel guilty about leaving. Let your children know that they shouldn’t worry about you. Make sure that you follow through with your legal arrangements. If your spouse is not letting you see your children as stated by the judge don’t hesitate to contact your divorce lawyer to make sure everything is as fair as possible.
Divorce is hard for everyone, but if your children feel loved by both of their parents, your children can adjust. Be sure that you and your former spouse work to create a stable, calm environment for the children. It’ll help your children become familiar with a routine.