Divorce is a hard and complicated process that causes emotional hardship for both parties; but what makes the whole situation even more complicated is if the couple has children. Thus, the divorce is no longer about two adults who decided they don’t want to be together, but it involves young lives, which will forever be affected by this decision.
As stated by the the American Sociological Review, 50% of children in America witness their parents’ divorce and bear the effects of this event for the rest of their life. Furthermore, as divorce is a lengthy and confusing process, many families seek the help of highly qualified law experts. According to Highlands Ranch Divorce Attorney, there are a few precautionary steps to take before filing for divorce, such as closing a joint bank account and changing your passwords on social media, which can ease and expedite the separation process. However, one important question that lingers on many parents’ mind is, what can be done to alleviate the negative effects of divorce in a child’s life once the process commences?
How to minimize the shock?
No matter what age your children are, making sure that your conflicts and heated discussions are kept away from them is important. In case your children are bound to witness legal talk, make sure to maintain an appropriate and calm tone, and most importantly, don’t lose your temper. Having a civilized discussion about divorce in front of your child will allow them to see respect and experience a less stressful atmosphere that will lessen the shocking impact of the separation.
Have a graceful conversation about the situation
Talking about divorce can be the hardest thing a parent may ever have to do. Telling your child that mom and dad will no longer live together can stir up a plethora of questions in a child’s mind, which are more often than not accompanied by emotional turmoil and self-blame. To avoid such a scenario, keep emphasizing that they are in no way to blame, and reassure them of the love that can never be lost. Let them know that even if it’s a hard decision, it’s one that might be conducive in the long run.
Don’t change their routine too much
Naturally, new adjustments will have to be made, and limited amounts of time will have to be shared between parents. Thus, even though the child may not come home to both caregivers, keeping their daily routines the same will help them better cope with the new situation, as they won’t have to worry about additional changes. To further mitigate the situation, fill the void with fun activities, or if needed, give them enough alone-time for processing. And last but not least, if you deem that counseling is required, make sure your child attends a few sessions.
Being open, calm, and honest about divorce with your children will help them better understand the situation, however, do make sure that you protect them from the drama and confusion that accompany the situation. Reassure them about your love for them, and give the time to process things at their own pace.