Divorce is something that is difficult for a person of any age. However, it can be especially confusing and emotional for children in particular. When a divorcing couple has children, it can be complicated deciding who has custody. When so many things come into play, children often end up finding themselves in the middle.
As parents, it’s important to help your children understand the process and guide them through their feelings of anxiety. You may also be feeling anxious yourself, which can be especially difficult since you are trying to put on a brave face for your kids. It’s normal to feel like the world is falling from under you when divorcing with kids.
To help you navigate the process, here are some of the best tips for handling divorce with children.
Be Honest With Your Kids
In an attempt to try to protect your children, you may be tempted to hide the truth from them. However, hiding the truth from them will only cause problems down the road. It’s important to be matter-of-fact and honest about what’s happening.
Use age-appropriate language to help the children understand.
Toddlers may not understand unless you use simplistic phrases. Tell them that you aren’t going to be together anymore but that you still love them. Explain where they will live and what their routine will look like. By being as honest as possible as early as possible, you’ll be able to move closer towards resolution.
Be As Peaceful As Possible
Even though you may be tempted to explode, it’s important to keep the peace when possible. Even though young children may not necessarily understand the things you’re saying, they’ll still feel the stress.
Try to remain calm when you interact with the other parent. If you start to feel yourself losing patience, then you should walk away until you feel calmer. Becoming irritated in front of your children can make things worse. Keeping the peace will ensure your child doesn’t feel like they’re in the middle.
Reassure Your Child
It’s not uncommon for children to feel like things are their fault. It’s important that you remind them how much they are loved and that nothing is their fault. Remind them that they aren’t at fault and that even though things may change, they will still have two parents who love them very much.
Try To Maintain A Routine
One of the most challenging parts of divorce is the family’s routine getting interrupted. Even though things may not continue exactly as they did before, it’s important to try to maintain a routine as much as possible. Keep them involved in their regular activities and continue to do things you did before, even though it may require some adjustments.