Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

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Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

Divorce can be incredibly hard on children of any ages. Often, children of a couple going through a divorce find the process very confusing and can frequently tend to blame themselves for the separation of their parents. It is one of the most stressful processes a child can go through. Your child might feel angry, sad, confused or all of the above. Communication is critically important to help your children get through the divorce of their parents.

First, encourage your children to ask any and all questions they have regarding divorce. Promise them that you will answer these questions truthfully and sincerely. It is important that you help your children understand how the divorce will affect their life. While there are obvious differences between you and the father of your children, the two of you need to be in lock step with regards to helping your children cope with the divorce. If the two of you can communicate about only one topic, make sure it's about your children.

Work to establish a stable custody routine. Children are able to cope with divorce much better when they know where they'll be staying and on what days. Don't make their lives a guessing game of where they'll be sleeping on any given night. Reassure them that everything is going to be okay, that both you and their father still love them just as much as you always have. Help them by making time at their father's place as special as possible. Now is the time to set aside the differences between you and your ex-husband. This means you should never badmouth their father to their face. Divorce is already stressful enough for your children, don't make it even more stressful by making them feel like they're the rope in a game of tug-of-war.

If your children express disappointment at having to visit their father's, do not use this as an opportunity to get them on your side regarding the differences that took place in your marriage. Always stay positive. No matter how hard it might be, suggest to the kids that they will have a wonderful time at their fathers and give them ideas and strategies to help make this happen. When they pack for a weekend at their fathers, have them take stuffed animals, favorite movies, and anything else that can help make their stay at his domicile feel like "home" as much as possible.

Remember, children follow the lead of their parents very closely. If you badmouth their father or display contempt towards him, it's going to make the children feel like they have to choose sides. That is not fair to them. They deserve to feel loved and protected by each of their parents. You wouldn't want your ex-husband saying bad things to your children about you, so grant him the same respect by not doing it the other way around.

Filed under divorce tips by alextg

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