How to Help Children Cope During a Divorce

Mother hugging her daughter

When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, it affects everything else in your life. It’s not only your marriage, your house, and your money that will be affected; your kids will have to go through this difficult time with you as well. And no parent wants to put that stress onto their child.   Here are the things you can do to make the divorce easier for everyone in the family:

Try to find a peaceful way to separate

You and your partner don’t have to go to court if you can settle things through mediation. Find a reputable law firm in Kent that will guide you through the separation process, as well as other legal matters such as child support and alimony. The less dramatic the divorce is, the easier it will be for your children.

Keep conflict away from kids

Even though the conflict between you and your spouse may flare up at any place and any time, it’s crucial that you keep arguments, heated discussions, and talks about divorce away from your children. If you must engage in arguments with your husband or wife, take it to another room.

Break the news gently

A child’s reaction to their parents divorcing will depend on his or her age, maturity, personality, and the circumstances at home. Nevertheless, there isn’t an easy way to tell your kids about the divorce. What you can do to make it less painful is to reassure your children that it isn’t their fault. Do not mention blame, guilt, or anger in the conversation at all. Instead, explain to them that sometimes, adults can no longer love each other the same way or live together.

Keep the conversation as truthful as possible, but don’t go into the details of why you fell out of love. What you need to emphasize instead is that no matter what happens, they will always be loved by their parents.

Be ready for their reactions

Sometimes, you can’t expect how a child will react to the news of a divorce. They may be angry, upset, guilty, worried, scared, or feel all of these emotions at the same time. As the parent, you should be prepared to answer all the questions that will come barreling toward you. “Is it my fault? Who will I live with now? Will I have to transfer to another school? Where do I spend the weekends?” Answer these questions truthfully, but don’t make promises until the divorce proceedings are finalized.

Help your kids cope

A little boy hugs his father's hand.

The best way to help your kids cope is to minimize the disruptions to their routine as much as possible. If they feel stressed out or sad, be there for them. Encourage honesty and validate their feelings. The more support that each parent gives their kids, the less impact there will be on their lives after the divorce process is over.

A divorce is almost always an emotionally exhausting experience, more so if there are children involved. If you want to help your kids adjust better into this new chapter in their life, keep these tips in mind while going through the process.

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