Bohm Wildish – Divorce Advice: People spend a lot of time talking about how hard divorce is on children, and they’re right. The home with their mother and father is all most kids have known since birth, and tearing that apart can be very challenging. It often turns into the most traumatic event of a person’s life. Parents need to think about how to get their kids through the process with as little trauma as possible.
Love Counsellor recently wrote an article about how to navigate through divorce without hurting your children, and we want to share those thoughts with you. When it comes to kids and divorce, communication is absolutely key. The adults will handle the divorce negotiations- visitation rights, spousal and child support, etc. But it can make the transition a lot easier if you ask your child how he/she is feeling about the changes. Get his/her input and truly take it into consideration. Conversation is also essential to assure kids that the divorce is not their fault, and they are still completely loved by both parents. Kids feel insecure during the transition because they’re not sure who will be looking after them. So assure them that you both will be there for them whenever they need you.
If possible, make sure your child doesn’t experience any massive lifestyle changes. Try not to make him/her switch schools, lose friends or move out of the city. This is going to be hard enough on your child, without the added life changes.
Don’t let your child hear about the tension the divorce is causing. That’s not his/her place. If you are struggling, seek out a counselor, therapist, friend or older family member. Try to be strong around your child and don’t put him/her in the position to comfort you. Roles shouldn’t be drastically reversed like that during a big transitional phase.
Divorce advice from Psychologists indicate that having a strong extended family is one of the best ways to support children during a divorce. Try to give your child as much access to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. as possible. The whole family, on both sides, should show a united front of strength and love to show the child that everyone is still there to support him/her.
To seek positive effects on children, pay close attention. Each child is different and will react uniquely to the life-altering family change. Be on alert for signs of depression, changes in habits, moods or hobbies. A child may act out or become disrespectful because he/she is not sure how to handle his/her emotional state. Be compassionate and show them extra love and attention.
Make the effort to celebrate big moments in the child’s life with both parents present. That will show him/her that you both will put aside your differences and choose to make the situation not awkward because you both love your child, and will do anything to be there for him/her. Some say that it takes at least three years for a minor to adjust to a divorce, so be as understanding and encouraging for as long as it takes.
Both parents should discuss the idea of dating again with the child. It can be a sensitive topic for many children, so be understanding if they aren’t pleased at first. To see positive effects on children from a divorce, the most important thing a parent can do is put aside their own issues and make the transition process for the child their biggest priority.
The learn more about the divorce process as it pertains to children visit our guide on Children and Divorce