Divorce is difficult enough to handle as an adult. The idea of your entire life-changing as you know it is a lot for someone to take in. It’s no surprise that it’s even more confusing for children to process divorce, particularly if only one parent has custody.
The good news is there are ways to help your child navigate the process so that it’s the least traumatizing for them possible. Take a look at some of the best tips for helping your child cope through the divorce process.
Remind Them That They Are Loved
Statistics show that one of the most traumatizing aspects of divorce for children is the fear that they are no longer loved. There may be feelings of guilt and questions about whether the divorce is their fault. It’s critical that if you hope to reduce the amount of stress your child feels throughout the process that you remind them they are loved frequently.
When you remind them how much they are appreciated in love, they’ll feel less inclined to act out. They’ll be better behaved, and they will feel much more validated. They’ll be much less likely to develop serious emotional repercussions later in life as a result of the divorce.
A lot of parents make the mistake of trying to sugarcoat the situation for their children. However, the best thing is to be as clear as possible. There’s no use trying to dance around the subject. All you’ll do is rob your child of the opportunity to express how they’re feeling about their parents’ breakup.
You’re going to get divorced no matter what, so you’re better off making them understand sooner than later that it’s inevitable. Be honest, and allow your child to be honest as well. They may have a considerable amount of feelings and opinions about whether they agree with the situation or not. Be patient and allow them to say what they think.
Talk About It Regularly
Telling your child that you’re going to get divorced once and never revisiting the subject again is not the way to go. It helps to talk about it frequently so that you can check in with their feelings.
Chances are their feelings may ebb and flow just like yours do, so make sure that you encourage them to keep talking about it. Ask them how they’re feeling and try to encourage them to identify any anger or sadness that they may be acting out on.
Kids don’t have the same ability to self-reflect as adults do. Sometimes it takes a loving parent to help them identify why they’re feeling the way that they do. Above all, remind them that they’re not alone and that anything their feeling is perfectly normal.