Once the prospect of a divorce is brought to the table, your children become your primary concern. Feelings of uncertainty and worry are normal during this delicate time. However, there are ways you can help your children navigate through this difficult time and cope with the reality of divorce.
Be Honest and Explain the Situation
When you tell your children that you are getting a divorce, tell them the reasons why in simple terms. Explain that the divorce will not change the love each parent has towards them, and you will both continue to be involved in their lives. Be honest and respond to all questions as best you can.
Listen to Your Children
After you have explained the divorce, let your children express themselves to you. It is the biggest step in helping a children grieve. During this conversation, you should do the following:
- Listen: Let your children speak honestly and openly. They may be scared, confused, angry, or frustrated. This is your chance to gain insight into your children's feelings.
- Help: Your children may not know how to express or navigate certain feelings. You should ask questions to help them explain the magnitude of what they are feeling.
- Acknowledge: Let your children know that you understand how they feel and that they are valid feelings that they are entitled to have.
- Offer: Your children may not ask you for help or comfort, but you should always offer it. This may be an offer to have more conversations or give them a simple hug.
Take Care of Yourself
Although there are many things you can do to help your children cope, the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself. Your recovery will benefit your children, as they will need a parent who is present emotionally as well as physically.
Emotionally, you may want to see a mental health professional or set up a time with a trusted friend. Keeping a journal or picking up an artistic hobby are great outlets. Physically, you should maintain a nutritious diet and moderate exercise. Find ways to relieve stress in a constructive way.
Divorce can be highly stressful for your children. It is an event that causes emotions to run high. Children can cope with the help of both their parents. Above are only a few basic ways you can help your children cope with the reality of divorce. To ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, be sure to work closely with a lawyer from a firm like Tracy McMurtrie Luck & Associates to reduce strife between you and your spouse.