While it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and negative emotions of a divorce, don’t forget that your child might need help and guidance through this difficult time. After all, divorce isn’t only painful for you and your partner. Your child can feel the full effect of your divorce.
Children will often react differently to a divorce depending on their age, personality and the circumstances of your divorce. Regardless, they may still experience feelings of guilt, confusion and frustration. But when you help make your divorce as easy on your child as possible, they can continue to grow and develop in a healthy environment.
Here are just three things you can do to help your child through your divorce.
1. Avoid seeking support from your child
While you may need support to help you get through this emotionally taxing time, try not to unload your worries onto your child. Some children are understanding and wish to be there for their parents during a divorce. But leaning on your child for support puts an unnecessary burden on them. They shouldn’t have to feel as though they are responsible for taking care of you.
Instead, turn to family and friends for support and let your child know that you are still here to take care of them.
2. Keep conflict and divorce details away from your child
Keeping your child in the dark during your divorce isn’t the best practice, but neither is overloading them with specific details of your divorce. Legal talk may only confuse your child or add to their feelings of guilt, especially if you bring up any of the financial costs of divorce.
In addition, when you argue about divorce-related matters in front of your child, it can increase their feelings of sadness and frustration when they see the people they love and look up to in conflict with one another.
3. Try to maintain a routine
You will doubtlessly encounter disruptions in your daily routine due to court hearings or other divorce-related matters. Sometimes, it can be easy for these disruptions to consume you. But making an effort to minimize any interruptions in your child’s daily life can help them maintain some normalcy.
Sticking to schedules, arranging activities, maintaining discipline and planning regular family time are ways for you to assure your child that your divorce will not turn their world upside-down.
There is no doubt that going through divorce as a parent is tough. Balancing your needs with your child’s needs can get difficult. But doing everything you can to help them mentally and emotionally cope with your divorce can make this life-changing event more bearable for both of you.