Everyone in a family struggles getting through a divorce. It’s not just the parents who have a hard time adjusting financially, mentally, and emotionally. To help your children adapt to the new family dynamics, follow these 10 tips:
1. Tell your children the honest truth about divorce. Every child needs to understand that divorce is final and not up for debate. However, the age of the child will determine how you explain the situation, as younger children may not need as many details.
2. When explaining divorce to your kids, ALWAYS make it clear that they were not the reason for your divorce.
Work with the other parent to set consistent rules.
3. Your kids don’t need to know about your anger and resentment towards the other parent. Don’t tell them about arguments or other adult issues.
4. Encourage questions from your kids. Opening the communication lines lets your children know they can share their feelings now and in the future.
5. Tell your child about upcoming events and other life changes before they happen. A child will adjust better if they know about schedules, visitations, and activities.
6. Work with the other parent to set consistent rules. The goal should be to enforce the same rules the kids have grown to expect.
7. If your child acts out by misbehaving, validate their feelings first. The bad behavior could be coming from a place of pain, anger, sadness, and confusion over your divorce.
8. Spend quality time with your child every day. This means no distractions when you’re devoting time to your family.
9. Make your home a safe place and somewhere your child wants to be.
10. Find a counselor or therapist who can talk to your children about the divorce and problems they are working through.