Divorce can be a difficult time for everyone, and it can be particularly difficult when children are involved. That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t things you can do to guide your kids through divorce. You can try and reduce some of the stress and make things a little easier for the kids, too. If you’re going through the divorce process, here are things you can try to make it easier on yourself and your children.
Tips on How to Guide Your Kids Through Divorce
Minimize Exposure to Stressful Situations
One of the best things you can do is limit your children’s exposure to stressful situations like fights and heated arguments. These kinds of situations can be very stressful for kids, and seeing arguments with the other parent can be detrimental to both of your relationships with them, too. Although it may feel difficult to stay even keeled in front of the children at all times, keeping them away from these stressful situations as much as possible can help reduce any anxiety they may feel and make things easier on everyone in the long run.
Explain What’s Happening
While it’s important to keep your children out of the crossfire of fighting, it is still a good idea to communicate with them and let them know what is going on. Even though they are young and might not have any say in what is going on around them, letting them know what’s happening is a good way to show them respect and allow them to feel included. Ways of keeping them included can range from giving them simple explanations of the events that are occurring to explaining smaller details of the process to them like what court reporting services are for.
Listen To Your Kids
Not only is it important to talk to your child about the changes you will be experiencing as a family, but it can be equally as important to listen to what they have to say. Although it may not always be easy for kids – especially young children – to put their feelings into words, taking time to talk with them and listen to their thoughts and feelings can be an important component of supporting them throughout the divorce process.
By listening to them, you can show them that their feelings are legitimate and that they matter to you. This can be crucial, because many children may feel unimportant or cast to the side when their parents are absorbed in the stress of a divorce. By taking the time to hear them, you can help show them that they and their feelings are valued, which can help them get through the process more well-adjusted.
Look After Yourself
Even though taking time out to focus on your children and their feelings is important throughout the divorce process, it can also be important to take a little time for yourself. During this time of change and upheaval, your kids will often look to you for guidance, support, and protection. Because they rely on you so much, letting them see you disheveled or out of sorts can be unsettling for them and could even make them feel insecure and unsafe. While divorce is hard and it may not always be possible to keep everything together like you might want to, making an effort to take care of yourself and meet your own needs so that you can better meet your children’s can make a big difference for everyone.
The Bottom Line
Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally taxing time for everyone involved, especially your kids. Not only is there sadness about the break up of a relationship, but there is disruption to routines and home life. This can be particularly troubling for children, too. However, even though this all may be difficult, the reality is that there are things you can do, such as limiting their exposure to stressful situations and listening to their thoughts and feelings. This can make it a little easier on yourself and your children too.