Explaining to your children about your divorce can bring lots of emotions and confusion. To help your children cope with the news, it helps to understand how a split could impact them.
Recognizing that age, maturity and individual parent-child relationships could affect your children’s responses can help you identify the most appropriate way to help each child.
Take time to listen
Your children will probably have lots of questions about your divorce including the following:
- Why are you getting divorced?
- Who will take care of us?
- Do we have to move?
- Who will pay for extracurricular activities?
- Who is at fault?
Answering these questions can bring challenges as you try to find responses that satisfy your children’s requests without sharing too many details or making the other parent sound horrible. Taking time to listen to your children will show them that you care. If you feel they need additional intervention, therapy might introduce them to the tools they need to cope with their emotions in a productive manner.
Maintain a consistent routine
Divorce changes the family dynamic substantially and can disrupt your children’s schedule. Despite the impending changes, do your best to maintain a consistent routine. According to Healthline, during divorce, sleeping and eating patterns could change for your children. Try to normalize their days, keeping mealtimes and bedtimes the same, for example. If possible, collaborate with your ex to find ways to ease your children’s transition between households. Reducing the stress they feel during the beginning of custody sharing might help set the foundation for a positive shared parenting experience.
Ignoring the needs of your children during your divorce could trigger behavioral problems, damage mental health and harm relationships. Prioritizing your children can help you protect their health and happiness despite the circumstances.