Divorce is never an easy process, especially if you have a family. Unfortunately, your children may end up the most affected by the divorce and may have a difficult time dealing with all the changes. Here are 7 ways to help your children cope.
- Be open about the divorce. Children comprehend a lot more than we give them credit for and although they don’t need to know the details, let them know that you and your spouse are getting divorced. Tell them that you made the best decision for the family and reassure them that you have their best interests at heart.
- It’s not their fault. Some children may blame themselves for your divorce. Make sure they know that this was an adult decision and they are in no way to blame for it.
- Let your children express their feelings about the divorce. Ask your children how they feel and encourage them to express their feelings. Children sometimes have a hard time expressing how they feel verbally, and their feelings may manifest themselves in other ways, such as through acting out at home or doing poorly academically in school. If you think your child is having an extremely difficult time with the divorce, therapy can be quite beneficial. Counseling can provide a safe space in which your child can express his or her feelings.
- Do not talk negatively about your ex in front of your children. It’s important that your children have a good relationship with both parents so it is best not to talk badly about your ex when your children are present. They are going through a difficult time adjusting to all the changes so make sure to be as positive about your ex as possible.
- Keep your relationship with your ex civil. Try your best not to allow your feelings about your ex to get in the way of co-parenting. The more you are able to get along with your ex, the easier it will be for you and your children.
- Keep your children’s routines as stable as possible. There will be lots of changes with regards to going back and forth between you and your ex so make sure to maintain some sense of stability by providing them with a routine when they are with you. It’s also a good idea to establish your own traditions with your kids to help with the transition.
- Take care of you too. You and your ex are the glue to holding the family together so make sure you take care of your needs and wants too. Your struggles can affect the family as well so make the time to relax and take a breather. You deserve that time for yourself.
Learning how to manage all of the stressors of divorce, including how you and your family cope with your feelings and the changing family dynamic, may seem overwhelming at times. As long as you and your children have healthy outlets in which to express how you all feel, you can get through this together. If you or your children need help coping, we provide individual and family therapy to help you through the challenging times associated with divorce. Give us a call at (954) 832-3602. We are located in Hollywood, Florida.
Alicia Emamdee is the author of the YA Romance novel, “Aloha Self-Esteem?” which is created specifically for teen girls and the challenges they face with regards to their self-esteem in our society today. Written as a love story, the book provides ways to help increase self-esteem and gain self-confidence.