If you’re like most parents going through divorce, you want what’s best for your kids – but how are you supposed to help them through this process?
Helping Your Kids Deal With the Effects of Divorce
There are dozens of great ways you can help your children cope with this situation, like getting them divorce books written just for kids or learning how the divorce is affecting them… but there are many other things you can do that lots of moms and dads overlook. Some of the most important are:
- Sheltering kids from visible conflict
- Minimizing disruptions to the kids’ routines
- Keeping negativity away from the kids
- Staying involved with the children’s lives
Sheltering Kids From Visible Conflict During Divorce
The last thing you and your ex should do is fight in front of your children.
“Children rely on their home environment for stability and comfort in order for them to develop emotionally. When there is conflict, it can feel as though their world is crumbling, and their sense of safety and trust becomes compromised. Certain issues that seem trivial to adults are intensified a great deal in the mind of a child,” says Allison Fosberry, M.A.
If you sense a fight brewing, hit the brakes. Wait until your children aren’t around – or, better yet, try your hardest to resolve the conflict without anger. Sometimes working with a therapist can help you learn new (and healthier) ways to deal with conflict.
Minimizing Disruptions to the Kids’ Routines During Divorce
Keeping kids’ routines as stable as possible can be tremendously helpful.
“Create a predictable environment by enforcing structure. After a divorce, children’s routines often fly out the window! Talk to your children about your family’s routines and be clear about what will stay the same and what will change,” says Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D., CLC, CPT.
Keeping Negativity Away From the Kids During Divorce
It’s easy to let negativity suck you in during divorce – in fact, there are a lot of days where it might be tough to see the “positives.” But keeping it confined to therapy or private conversations away from your children is absolutely necessary.
Staying Involved in Your Children’s Lives During Divorce
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your children during (and after) divorce is to stay involved in their lives. Even if your kids don’t seem to want your attention, keep pursuing – they (and you) will be glad you did. Try to make the most of the time you have together and ensure that your kids have their own comfortable spaces in your home, where they always feel welcome and safe.
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