The end of a relationship is difficult for everyone involved, but when parents end their marriage in divorce, children are often the ones who have the hardest time. Divorce will bring a great deal of upheaval to their lives as they adjust to new schedules, split their lives between two households, and try to understand changing relationships between family members.
As you work to provide the best possible environment for your children following your divorce, you will want to be sure you are considering their needs and providing them with love and support. Here are some valuable tips for helping your children get through this difficult time:
- Be honest - Children are sure to have a lot of questions about why you and your spouse divorced, and you should try to answer their questions honestly while keeping your answers age-appropriate. Encourage them to discuss their feelings about the divorce with you and let them know that it is okay to feel sad or angry.
- Offer reassurance - Children often worry that they may have been the cause of the divorce, so it is important to reassure them that your divorce was not their fault in any way while helping them understand that you will always love them and be there for them.
- Provide consistency - It is important for children to have a regular routine in their daily lives. Reliably following your parenting time schedule and sticking to a consistent plan for bed times and mealtimes will give them the stability they need.
- Provide them with quality time - Make the most of the time you spend with your children and be involved in their lives. Encourage them to share their interests with you and offer them love and support.
- Cooperate with your ex-spouse - You and your former partner share the goal of raising your children in a loving, positive environment, so it is best to try to be flexible and accommodating to each other’s needs. If your work schedule or your children’s schedules for school and activities change, work together with the other parent to modify pickup and drop-off times as needed.
Never involve children in conflicts - You are likely to have disagreements with your ex-spouse, but you should do your best to keep your kids from being caught in the middle. Do not send messages to your ex-spouse through your children, and avoid disparaging your ex-spouse in your kids’ presence.