A divorce can be challenging for not just you and your spouse but also your children. Nearly 50 percent of American children will witness the breakup of their parents, and it can be difficult to explain the complexity of the situation to them.
Depending on the age of your child, the process can affect their mood, grades, emotional health, and overall happiness levels. While going through a divorce, there are some ways you can help your child adjust to their new lives, one where their parents are separated.
Be Honest with Them
Your child's life is changing, and feeling uncertain or nervous is natural. While you may feel the need to protect your child during this time, the best way you can help them during your divorce is to be honest with them, instead of sweeping the issues under the rug. Some children may feel guilty and blame themselves for their parents divorcing. Let them know that it is not their fault, that the choice was both yours and your spouse’s and beyond their control.
Allow Them to Talk to You
Your child will probably have many questions about how or why this is all happening. Allow them to ask all the questions they need to so that, in time, they can accept the situation for what it is. You can also ask if they would like to see a therapist who can talk to them and offer words of advice from a third-party standpoint.
Don’t Argue in Front of Your Kids
Your kids don’t need to hear you and your spouse arguing about finances or other aspects of your divorce. You and your spouse don’t have to be best friends, but it’s important that you don’t let the heated conversations flair out in front of the kids. While it’s important to be honest with them, don’t bash your spouse in front of them. As kids, it’s not their job to decide who is right and wrong in the situation, and it can end up causing more harm than good if you try to pin your child against your spouse.
Adjusting to a New Home Environment
A divorce can be hectic and your child has a lot of adjusting to do knowing that their parents won’t be together. On top of that, they’re not going to have both their parents under one roof. Going back and forth between houses and not seeing both of their parents at once can be difficult, especially during holidays or starting school, so it’s essential that you try to keep other things in their lives consistent so they don’t have to stress about multiple changes at once.
Keep Yourself Healthy
One of the best things you can do for your child is to keep yourself healthy, both physically and mentally. There may be times when you are feeling overwhelming sadness, anger, or fear of the future. Accept that these are your feelings, acknowledge them, and let them go in order to move forward with your life.
Your child will be able to tell if there’s something that’s making you sad. Seek the help of a therapist or doctor that can help you think of ways to move forward with your life. It’s okay to rely on people sometimes, and having the support of family and friends can help ease the burden of a divorce for you, which will in turn also help your child with adjusting to their new life.
Although challenging in many aspects, taking steps to ensure that your child understands and has the resources they need will ensure that they can move forward and live a happy and healthy life.
Contact our firm at (954) 626-8071 if you’d like to discuss your child custody case.