It wouldn’t be original for me to say that divorce is equally stressful for spouses getting divorced and their children. So, what exactly causes stress in children in the first place?
It’s the changes.
The composition of the family is shifting where parents are no longer living together, the general atmosphere in the family, and the possibility of a new place of residence, school, circle of friends, etc.
In this article, I will discuss 11 practical and workable ways to help your child deal with divorce.
How to Help Your Child Deal With Divorce
1. Remind Your Child That They Are Not At Fault
Most children may believe that they led their parents to break up and can unconsciously blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. They may torment themselves with various suspicions and experiences.
For example, a child can run through possible scenarios, such as “Mom and Dad wouldn’t have fought if I’d been nice and not rude” or “It’s my fault that I’m not good enough since Dad decided to leave the family.”
At this stage, it is important to explain to your child that it’s not their fault that the divorce is taking place. Reassure your child and tell them that you and your spouse still love them, even though your marriage is ending.
2. Do Not Shift Your Grievances on Your Child
After a divorce, we are often vulnerable. Mentions of an ex-spouse and their actions can drive us into anger, disappointment, and other negative emotions. Therefore, you need to be especially careful with how you communicate with your child during these moments.
Control the speech and tone of the conversation. A child’s psyche is arranged differently than an adult’s. They project your emotions onto themselves.
Think about what and how you talk about the second parent. Moreover, try to explain how you feel and why you are angry, upset, or worried. Explaining your emotions to your child will help them feel reassured that you will continue to love them.
3. Tell Your Child They Have Not Lost the Other Parent
Another rule for helping your child deal with divorce is to emphasize that the child has not lost the second parent and that both parents will continue to love them despite the changes.
Children often perceive divorce as the loss of a parent who will no longer live with them. It is worth having conversations with your child that, although you will no longer be living together, each parent will still carve out quality time with them.
Providing constant reminders that both parents love the child help kids cope with separation and feel valued by both parents. This way, you do not form a negative image of the second parent in the eyes of the child.
4. Do Not Sort Things Out in Front of Your Child
For your child’s well-being and mental health, do not quarrel with the other parent before them, and do not turn the child into a manipulation tool.
For example, don’t threaten your ex-partner that they won’t see your child if they don’t pay for certain things. Children whose parents are divorcing do not care who pays for what. They need full communication with both parents.