Divorce is hard for everyone, but it is especially hard on children. Kids don’t always understand why their parents aren’t in love anymore, especially if they are very young. It can also be very difficult to learn that the security of a two-parent home is not going to be a reality anymore. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your kids through divorce as a parent. Here are five examples.
Let Them Know That You Still Love Them
Always make sure that your kids know that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will always love them, no matter what. Just because you two aren’t going to be a couple any longer does not mean that you will stop being your kids’ parents.
Sit your children down and have a real, deep talk with them. Even little ones are capable of understanding more than you may think. Just knowing that you sympathize with how scared and uncertain they are can help them feel more secure.
Consider an Uncontested Divorce
A contentious divorce can be hard on children. The fighting and long, drawn-out process that may be involved may not be healthy for your kids. Consider opting for an uncontested divorce in Birmingham if at all possible. It could be easier, faster, and less emotional for all parties. However, make sure you contact a local Birmingham or Tuscaloosa divorce attorney who can help you make sure you choose the right path.
Keep Routines in Place
It is important to disrupt your kids’ lives as little as possible during this transitionary period. Try to keep school routines, after-school sports and clubs, play dates with friends, and other daily activities as in-line with what your children are used to as possible. There will probably be a few adjustments that still have to be made, but any normalcy that can remain in your kids’ lives will help them feel somewhat better and adjust to this large change.
Remember that it is important to stay civil with your spouse at all times, but especially in front of your children. You want to set an example for getting along with others and demonstrate healthy adult behavior around your kids. Besides, they need to feel safe and secure, and fighting in front of them is not the way to accomplish this. You also want to avoid saying negative things about your spouse in front of your children. They don’t need to hear disrespectful information about a parent that will confuse and unsettle them.
Therapy—for you and your kids—can be a healthy and productive outlet for processing your emotions and learning how to cope with entering a new stage of your life. You may want to consider family sessions or separate sessions for kids and each adult. Make sure that you find one or more therapists who understand the challenges that divorcing parents and their children face.
Above all else, it’s important to try not to let your and your spouse’s emotions affect your children. There will likely still be times that you slip up, and your kids will feel a range of emotions during this time regardless of what you do. Even so, helping them through it as the loving parent that you are will allow them to adjust in the gentlest way possible.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!