There are all sorts of reasons why people decide to get divorced. Even though you might want to try and make it work for the sake of the kids, in many situations trying to stay together only for the kids can make things even worse. If things truly are hopeless between you and your spouse, then it’s in everyone’s interest to file for divorce.
However, it’s incredibly important that you navigate the process carefully; otherwise, it can have negative effects on your child for years to come. It’s very important that you help them during this challenging time by doing the following things.
In an attempt to shield their children from the pain of divorce, many parents tried to hide the truth from their kids. However, failing to be honest can actually cause more damage than good. It’s important that you’re honest with your child and break the news in terms that they can understand.
There’s no easy way to do it, so you might as well just let it out. Explain to them that mommy and daddy will no longer be together, but you both love your child just the same. Explain that feeling angry or sad is perfectly normal and that they can be honest with you about their feelings. Giving them as much honest information as possible is the best way to help them navigate the process and prepare for the transition.
Reassure Them Frequently
A lot of children may feel guilty about the divorce—like it’s possibly their fault. It’s important that you reassure them regularly by making sure they know that they are loved, and that the divorce has nothing to do with them. The more that you can reassure them, the less likely they’ll be to act up with emotional outbursts.
Even though it might be tempting to talk badly about the other parent, especially if they did you wrong, it’s important that you resist the urge to badmouth. Bad mouthing the other parent can force your child to feel like they have to choose between you.
If you’re angry and need to release your opinions about the other parent, do it with a friend and not your child. The last thing you need to do is make them feel a conflict about loving the parent you’re speaking badly about.
Even though you may feel extremely emotional about the divorce itself, it’s important that you are flexible when it benefits your child. For example, if your ex wants to change the visitation day, then you should consider doing it for the good of your child. Flexibility can set a positive example for your child and avoid conflict between you and the other parent.
By following these tips and taking the high road, you can help your child navigate the struggles of divorce and thrive one day as a healthy adult.