Divorce is an unfortunate reality for many parents; in fact, 33% of marriages in the Uk end in divorce each year. However, it doesn't have to be a disastrous experience for children. Many kids are resilient, and research shows that they are often better off after their parent's divorce as long as they receive plenty of love and support from both parents. However, adjusting to a new family dynamic can be tough on kids. They may fear abandonment or lose trust in their parent's ability to be responsible or make good decisions. Kids may also feel guilty about the divorce or blame themselves.
As a result, they may feel sad, depressed, anxious, angry, or all of the above at different times. The key to helping your child cope with divorce is staying positive and proactively handling the transition smoothly and responsibly. If you're a parent going through this process, read on for advice on how to do this without compromising your child's future happiness too much…
Communicate With Your Child About the Divorce
Kids will be looking to you for guidance and a model for how to deal with the situation. Kids are incredibly perceptive, and even young children may have plenty of questions about divorce. However, it's important to answer those questions honestly without letting your own emotions or judgement get in the way. If you mislead them, you could do more harm than good.
Help Kids Understand Why the Divorce Happened
Letting your child know that you wish you could stay married is great, but you also should let them know why the divorce is happening. You don't have to go into the nitty gritty details (that's the lawyers' job), but you should let them know your reasons. If you don't tell them the real reason, they might come up with a false explanation that might cause unnecessary guilt or shame. Kids will be curious about your decision and might come up with some pretty wild conclusions that aren't true.
Reassure Them It Wasn't Their Fault
Many children react to divorce by believing that it was their fault. This is especially common if the breakup was a long time coming and the parents tried to hide it from the kids. It can also happen if a child is young and doesn't understand why their parents aren't together anymore. It's important to reassure your child that they didn't do anything wrong and that the divorce wasn't their fault.
Avoid Sharing Negative Feelings In Front of Them
Divorce can be highly stressful, and you and your spouse might sometimes feel pretty negative. You might be tempted to vent to your child about your spouse or the divorce lawyer or when seeing a family lawyer such as Beyond Law Group, but don't do it. That's okay, but try to avoid expressing your frustrations in front of your child. You should maintain a positive relationship with your child, and negative comments about your spouse or the divorce process will only damage that relationship.
Divorce is a stressful and challenging process for kids, but there are ways to reduce the damage. The most important thing you can do is to stay positive and focus on being there for your child.