Unfortunately, as much as we may try, not all marriages will last. Couples don’t typically get married with the intent of divorcing down the road. Bumps and turns along marriage can make staying together nearly impossible for some. When that happens, the next step is separating and going through the divorce processes.
If you have children though, getting a divorce can be hard on them. The last thing you would want is for the separation to affect the kids and their wellbeing negatively. But with proper planning and explanation, you should be able to efficiently go through a divorce without your children bearing the weight of it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are going through a divorce and have children.
Don’t Leave Them in the Dark
Divorce can be confusing for kids, especially if they didn’t see it coming. Your children deserve some explanation as to what is going on. Keep in mind their age and what information is appropriate for them to know.
If your child has seen their parents are not happy together, the news of a divorce may not be surprising. But if you have kept the fights and arguments quiet and hidden from them, the news will be surprising. So help them go through this situation by giving them some sort of explanation about what is going on.
It is not a conversation parents want to have with their kids, but it is needed. Be clear about what is going on. If appropriate, give some reasons as to why their parents are separating. Let them know which parent is leaving, where they are going and who they will be staying with. How will they get to see their other parent and how often? Keep the communication lines completely open during the process.
Leave the Negativity Out of It
Your children watch and absorb everything you say and do. So keep that in mind when you are talking with your soon-to-be ex. If any form of conflict or heated discussions form, keep them away from the children. Those difficult conversations are more suited for therapy sessions or with your family divorce attorney.
If possible, try to keep your children’s daily routines as normal as possible. The least amount of disruption to your children’s daily lives, the better it will be for them. This will also mean keeping both parents involved in your kid’s lives as well.
Support Your Children
Just as this will be a difficult time for you, this will also be a challenging time for the kids. Make sure both parents are available for support. Let them know that their feelings are normal and are acceptable.
If your kids don’t have much of a reaction yet, don’t force it out of them. Let them handle the situation at their own pace. The best thing to do is to let them know you are available and ready to talk when they are.
At the end of the day, the more prepared and supportive you can be to your child, the better it will be for them. Let them know both parents still love them and always want the best for them. Don’t avoid talking to them about the divorce. Be prepared for all the questions that will arise.
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