Divorce can be extremely difficult, especially on children. If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you'll need to take additional steps to make sure that your children are protected. Here are four strategies that will help them through the changes that are occurring in their lives.
Be Honest with Them
When it comes to divorce, the best thing you can do for your children is be honest. They need to know what's going on. If you're not honest with them, they'll try to fill in the holes for themselves, which can be devastating. As soon as you and your spouse decide to divorce, sit down with your children and explain what's going on.
Be sure to gear your discussion towards the specific ages of your children. For younger children, you could simply explain that mommy and daddy won't be living together anymore. For older children, you'll want to go into deeper details. You don't have to give the intimate details of your marital problems, but you do need to be honest with your children.
Encourage Open Communication
Your kids are going to have questions and concerns about the divorce. That's where open communication comes in. During the divorce—and after—it's important that you encourage open communication. Allow your kids to voice their concerns to you. They need to know that they can sit down and talk to you about issues that are important to them.
Stick to a Schedule
The changes are going to be difficult for your kids, especially when it comes to new routines, such as separate living arrangements. To help your kids deal with the transition, try to stick to a schedule. This is particularly important when it comes to pre-existing appointments. For instance, if your kids had extra-curricular activities that they were involved with, try to continue with those schedules. If your kids have a schedule that they can follow, it will be easier for them to transition to other, new routines.
Seek Professional Help
It's not unusual for kids to act out during a divorce. If your kids have begun acting out, such as fighting with siblings or arguing with you, you might want to consider professional help. A counselor will allow them to get their anger and frustration out in a comfortable, but controlled, setting. Counseling can also help you and your spouse learn to co-parent effectively, which will benefit your children.
If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, your children are going to be affected too. Use the tips provided here to help them deal with the changes. For questions or concerns about child custody, and other issues related to divorce, be sure to talk to a divorce attorney near you, or learn more by clicking here.