Kids and Divorce
No matter how much you think you have protected your children before or during a divorce they know what is going on. Kids of all ages are smart, perceptive and can feel stress between their parents. No matter what, it is your job as parents to be adult, put your kids best interest first and not your desire to get back at your spouse.
Keys to helping kids through the divorce process:
1. Do not act like everything is ok when it is not, let the kids know what is going on in ways that are age appropriate. If possible a non-blaming conversation about what is happening between the parents with assurances of love and understanding to the children’s feelings.
2. Do not bad mouth your spouse in front of the kids, on the phone, on social media, or email. If you need to vent, do it in private when the kids are not around. As hard as it might be not blaming your spouse will make them feel better about both parents in the future. Don’t make your kids choose sides.
3. Don’t over give to your kids because you are making up for divorcing. It is a common desire to want to give gifts, do only fun things, and overdo for your kids when divorcing, but giving consistent love and structure will allow them to safe and wanted.
4. Assure your children that they did nothing wrong and that the divorce is not not their fault. No matter what your child says, they are wondering what they can do to make mom and dad happy together again. Take responsibility for your decision and continue to reassure your children they are safe and will get through this.
5. Don’t be afraid to get professional help so your kids can work through their own feelings with a non-invested party. Even if your child seems ok it can benefit them to have someone who they can feel allied with during the Divorce process.