People that think about divorce tend to have a lot of questions on their minds.
Will they have to pay alimony? How much will child support cost? Which parent deserves primary custody?
All of those are important questions, but some tend to struggle the most with how they’re going to help their kids.
Helping children cope with divorce can be difficult. Everyone can react differently, and you want to make sure that they’re ready to deal with such a big change.
Parents that need a basic guide on how to help children coping with divorce have come to the right place. Read on if you want some basic tips on how to help your kids.
Three Essential Tips for Helping Children Cope with Divorce
Regardless of how you plan on talking to your kids about your impending divorce, it’s import to remember that every child is different.
You may not be able to control your kid’s reaction to your divorce, but you can talk about it with them the right way. When you’re broaching the topic, make sure you keep these tips in mind.
Tell Everyone at Once
Some parents may try to tell their children separately because of age and maturity factors. But doing this could cause problems and add additional stress to an already difficult situation.
It isn’t uncommon for some parents to tell the oldest child first because they believe they’re mature enough to handle the news.
This strategy isn’t ideal because now the older child is responsible for keeping the secret which can be a terrible emotional burden. It also inadvertently tells signals to younger children that they’re too immature to handle the news.
Don’t force any of your children to keep secrets from their siblings. Find an appropriate way to tell everyone at once to reduce stress.
Avoid the Blame Game and Oversharing
It’s a good idea to think about how much information you want to share about the divorce with people in general. But it’s important for you to agree upon how you’re going to talk about the divorce and your ex with your kids.
You won’t have one talk about the divorce. It’s going to be a topic that’s going to come up frequently with your kids, and you need to be prepared to address it.
Sensitive subjects like custody, visitation, and housing situations will come up. You can view here for more information on those topics. But you may not have easy answers for your kids, and the answers you could have may be tough.
When you talk badly about your spouse, your kids can feel conflicted and like they have to take a side. This can make it difficult for them to express their feelings and cope with the situation.
Reinforce that you both love them and that the divorce has nothing to do with their behavior. The problems are something the parents have to handle, not the kids.
Give Them an Outlet
Your child is going to have a lot of feelings about the divorce, and they may not feel comfortable sharing everything with you. The best thing a parent can do to help their kids handle a divorce is to give them access to a neutral person they can trust.
This is why many parents choose to get their kids into individual counseling. A counselor that’s trained to work with children going through a divorce can be an invaluable asset.
Find Your Balance
Helping children cope with divorce isn’t an exact science. Doing whatever you can to help your kids handle the “new normal” in their lives is the best way to help them through this difficult time.
Since we’re on the subject of children and divorce, it’s a good time to think about another aspect of divorce parents worry about: vacation.
How do you plan a holiday with your kids when you have to worry about visitation and your ex-spouse’s schedule? Read our guide so you can plan a great vacation that works for everyone.