Divorce can be life-altering for the couples involved, and even worse when a little child is in the picture. Trying to explain the circumstances to your little one might feel like a gut punch, but the right approach will make the process a lot easier.
It is important to pay attention to what your kids might be feeling, and encourage them to be open and expressive of their emotions. Every divorce is different, and the way families handle this process is different too. However, these suggestions will ensure the process is less painful both for the couples involved and the kids.
1. Remind them that they are loved
When parents don’t move along so well, kids often assume they are to be blamed. Not only do these thoughts take a toll on their self-esteem, they feel unloved and terrible with themselves.
Although divorce isn’t easy on you either, it is important to constantly reassure your kids that they are loved. Make them understand that they have nothing to do with what’s happening and that adults sometimes make mistakes, even hurt the people they love.
2. Encourage communication
You don’t need to allow your kids to bottle up their feelings. When you encourage your kids to express themselves, it gives them a sense of empowerment, thereby helping ease their frustration.
If your child is not outspoken or uncomfortable, encourage them to write about it. Let your kids know that it’s okay to voice their disappointment without lashing out in anger.
3. Argue away from the kids
This is inarguably the hardest thing to do, but it is important to not say bad things about your ex in front of your kids, or to their hearing. You might not know this, but kids are pretty smart to pick up on those things.
If there is a situation where your spouse moved away from home, never try to sugarcoat the situation. Acknowledge what has happened, as it isn’t your responsibility to explain your ex’s behavior. If your kids do ask a question, answer as objective and neutral as possible.
4. Focus on your kid’s life, not yours
It is easy to get lost in your head while trying to navigate through the divorce. However, it is important to pay more attention to your kid’s life. You don’t need to slip into a long explanation of what happened. Spare them the gory details, instead make them understand that sometimes, adults don’t want to live together anymore.
5. Break the news as a couple
When both parents break the news to their kids, this unity helps to show your love and support. Don’t keep the situation a secret, or wait till the last minute to break the ice. If you and your ex can calmly talk to your kids about the situation, it goes a long way to help them deal with the situation a lot better.
Whatever happens, note that working hand in hand with an experienced and licensed divorce attorney will play in your best interest. Feel free to give us a call, or perhaps fill the contact form.