How to Help Kids Cope With Divorce
Going through a divorce is a stressful process for any adult, and when there are children involved, the level of stress they go through is higher than they often know how to cope with. Your children will be looking to you to set the example of how to act during this challenging time, and it’s your job as a parent to make the process as easy for them as possible.
While the possibilities are endless, here are 7 solid ways to make divorce less stressful for your kids (and you might benefit too!):
- Make them your number one priority – Divorce is complex, and the amount of phone calls, paperwork, and meetings with attorneys can be daunting. Amidst the chaos, do not forget to put the focus on your children. Ask them about their day, spend time with them doing fun activities, and remind them that you are available for support during this tough change.
- They are not your middleman – The process of getting divorced often brings up some very heated and strong emotions, and it can be tempting to want to stop communicating with your soon to be ex. If your children are old enough to have independent communication with each parent, do not under any circumstances use them to pass messages to your former spouse.
- Keep the fighting quiet – This tip is especially pertinent for families with smaller children who might not understand the complexities of divorce. If you and your spouse end up having a heated discussion, remove yourselves from the children and state your case in private. Kids are very attuned to their environment, and any additional arguing in their presence is only going to make things more uncomfortable and stressful.
- Raise your kids together – Just because you won’t be married anymore doesn’t mean that both you and your ex don’t have relevant input on how to parent your children. Be sure to discuss important decisions together, and come up with rules for other situations so that it doesn’t become a fight every time. In the end, your children will be happier having structure and knowing what to expect.
- Be upfront – If your children ask what’s going on between mom and dad, it’s best to be as honest as you can in an age appropriate manner. Do not ever bash your spouse or place blame. Keep it simple, and assure them that while you and their other parent don’t get along anymore, it is not the fault of the child. Reassure children that nothing they did caused the divorce. Always be age appropriate and never give more information than is necessary. Children don’t need to know about affairs, financial infidelity, or their other parent’s dirty secrets.
- Take care of yourself too – Your children will need you now more than ever during this tumultuous time. Even if your kids are fairly independent, they still look to you for love, support, and help. If you are exhausted or too stressed, you won’t be much good to them. Make sure to take time for yourself, and this will in turn allow you to be available for your kids.
Divorce is a complex process and leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered.
If you are going through a divorce and need additional support, please contact us at (903) 234-0711 today.
Blog Author: Attorney Christina Hollwarth
Christina Hollwarth obtained her Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law. She is the founding attorney at The Hollwarth Law Firm, PLLC.
Visit her bio to learn more about her dedication to her clients.
More Blogs By Christina Hollwarth: