How to Help a Child Deal with Divorce? – A Parent’s Guide

No one marries thinking it would end up with divorce. You don’t take those vows with the intention of divorce down the line, especially if you have children while you’re married. Although divorce is not your intention, many marriages do end up that way. Whether the marriage endured infidelities, addiction, or financial problems, the best ways to help a child deal with divorce is to find a lawyer that has the best interests of you and your children. Maintain consistent communication with your kids throughout the divorce process as kids, too get questioned. So, it is necessary to prepare them for the answers.

What Parents Forget During Divorce?                                                                                                

As adults, we often forget the emotions that children go through and how deeply they feel about certain things. Why is that? It’s because we forget what it was like to be a kid. While going through a divorce, you have to put yourself in your child’s shoes and try to empathize. Try to imagine how you would feel if the dynamics of your home was about to be completely flipped upside down.

Why Is It Essential to Help a Child Deal with Divorce?

Divorce affects everyone in the family unit. Whether you’re the one who asked for the divorce or not, both people in the marriage have some accountability to face. Meanwhile, your kids might be blaming themselves for it. The bottom line is, your household dynamics are about to undergo an extreme shift. You and your ex-spouse need to make conscious efforts to be good parents, despite what you two are going through.

Ways of Helping Your Child Cope with Divorce

So many children experience the effects of divorce. Psychology Today states that your children’s age has a lot to do with how they react and respond to hearing of the divorce. Upon hearing the news initially, your kids will experience feelings of:

  • Shock
  • Frustration
  • Worry
  • Sadness

Although they have these feelings and emotions, if you consistently communicate with them during the process, they’ll come out of it sooner. Studies prove that kids who endure divorce with parents effectively handing it, grow up being able to handle stress better. Such children are more open to being flexible in different situations. So when it comes to helping your kid(s) cope with divorce, you need to help them with the following.

  • Encourage Your Children to Honestly Express Their Feelings

    During something as severe as divorce, your kids need to know that their feelings and opinions are essential. Communicate with them that you take them very seriously.

  • Don’t Speak Ill of Your Ex-Spouse

A lot of times, as parents enduring a divorce, you do not realize who you are around when you’re letting out your frustrations of the divorce. You have to remember that people around you notice this. Although you’re not with your ex-spouse anymore, don’t speak ill of them, especially in front of your children. That can make them have resentment towards you for talking about them. You don’t want to put that image into your child’s head regardless of how old they are. Avoid speaking about your ex-spouse at all in front of them.

  • Be Honest about What’s Happening in the Divorce Process

Now, your kids don’t need to know the grisly details of the divorce, if it has taken a turn for the worst. But if they have questions (which they will), answer them honestly. Being honest won’t always be easy, especially when you don’t know the answers to their questions. But being honest with them about what you know is the best thing to do. Be ready to face questions like:

  • Offer Your Support to Help Them Cope

Whether your kids are actively displaying signs of distress from the divorce or not, it’s always a good thing to offer them your support. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to make them feel better about everything like taking a long walk with them, or drawing a family picture, etc.

    • Who will we be living with?
    • Are we going to have to go to a different school?
    • What about my friends?
    • Who’s house will we visit for the holidays?

Helping a child deal with divorce is not easy in the rough patch of life. However, parents need to be empathetic and thoughtful in their approach to ensure that the kids do not suffer heavy mental effect.

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