When it comes to their parents, kids expect a happily ever after. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.
One of the most challenging parts of a divorce is breaking the news to your kids that your family is breaking apart and you and your co-parent won’t be living together anymore. There are steps you can take to help your kids through the divorce.
What emotions do children experience when they learn of their parents’ impending divorce?
Children react differently to divorce depending on their age, personality, and relationship with their parents.
Kids will often blame themselves for their parents getting divorced. They will think it is their fault. They will experience various emotions, including shock, sadness, anger, frustration, worry and fear.
What can you do as a parent to help maintain normalcy for your child amidst your divorce?
Parents must assure children that the divorce is not their fault. Couples should avoid having arguments and discussions about the divorce in front of their children.
It’s also important to keep kids’ daily routines as normal and disruption-free as possible. Parents need to remain an active and positive presence in their children’s lives as they pursue a divorce.
Your kids are not your therapist or friends. You shouldn’t go to them for emotional support by dumping your dirty laundry on them. They have enough to handle the trauma of the divorce.
You’ll want to break the news of the divorce jointly if possible. Both you and your spouse should refrain from any blame, anger or guilt as you discuss your plans.
Keeping matters civil between you and your spouse during a divorce
If you are in the process of going through a divorce and have children, then it’s important to consider how you will broach the subject with them. An experienced divorce attorney can help you as you work with your spouse to sort out your differences and have the smoothest transition possible for you and your kids.