Divorce can be hard on everyone involved. The process can be even more fraught when children are involved. Of course, the best thing possible is for the children to be supported at every stage. Avoiding a messy divorce for the children’s sake can be very motivational to avoid putting them through the stress and unpleasantness divorce can bring if it isn’t amicable.
While it is thought that mothers typically retain custody of any children in a divorce, this isn’t always the case, and parents need to have their children’s best interests at heart when approaching the topic of custody. Too many upheavals won’t be suitable for children of any age and reducing the impact and changes as much as possible will always be more beneficial.
Children are very wise, and they will know if something isn’t right. If you try to hide this from them, it can have untold effects on their mental health and directly impact how they deal with news of a divorce or separation.
Be open and honest about what is happening and why (age-dependent, of course) and try to keep the discussion neutral and void, throwing mud at the other parent.
Keep Adult Conversations Private
Certain things should be kept between the adults and your divorce lawyer. Especially if children are younger, avoid airing dirty laundry as they say in front of young and impressionable minds and be careful about what you disclose in their presence. While being open and honest about what is happening is great for children to help them adapt.
Children will automatically think they had a part in their parents splitting up. It is natural, and while older children may understand that sometimes not all relationships work out, younger children especially won’t have the knowledge or awareness to know the intricacies of adult relationships.
Assure them that you are both still there for them and you both love them. But from now on, they will need to get used to their parents living apart. Give them as much reassurance as they need and work together to reduce the impact a divorce can have on children.
Your child will likely have many questions, and being able to answer them despite your pain and the toll a divorce takes on you can help you to help your child process their feelings. It can also help you too. Speaking out loud and breaking down what is happening rationally can allow you to start dealing with what is happening and reassuring your child(ren) by answering any questions to the best of your abilities.
Adjusting to a divorce can take some time for both parents and the children. It is a massive change to family life, and a divorce will mean many changes for everyone involved. Supporting your children as much as possible can help you ease the pain and help your child process the information to understand and process it.