Divorce can be a traumatic event. The impact of divorce on children is strongly influenced by and directly related to the behavior of the parents during and after the separation process. If you are interested in working with a group of professionals who help create an outcome to meet your family’s needs, a collaborative divorce process may be an option for you.
Helping Your Child Deal with the Divorce
Divorce can be a complicated process, especially when children are involved. For separating spouses, it’s essential to take steps to help their children deal with the divorce. This will help your child process the changes in a healthy manner. If you are considering or going through a separation here are a few important steps that can be helpful to assist your child to deal with the divorce:
Talk with Your Children
Children are incredibly perceptive. Sometimes, parents can get caught up in the complexities of the divorce process and overlook their children’s feelings. To help your children cope with the process of divorce, it’s important to talk with your children.
Parents should approach the conversation together as a team whenever possible and be supportive of each other. Honesty is important and is the best approach when it comes to helping your child deal with divorce. Without going into great detail, let them know what is happening and what changes they can expect.
Encouragement & Communication
Encouragement and communication are an integral part of helping your child deal with divorce. Children will have questions and opinions about the process. Encouragement to express their feelings can help your child cope with the situation.
Both parents should remain receptive to whatever their child may want to talk about and how they may be feeling. If your child is staying quiet on the subject, go to them. Be sure to touch base with them frequently throughout the process to make sure they are doing okay.
As your child begins to communicate, it’s imperative to listen to what they have to say. As parents, you want your actions to match your words. Working with a child specialist in the collaborative divorce process can help you identify and implement what is best for your children and let their voices be heard.
No matter what age, children need reassurance. As you discuss the separation process, reassure your child. Express how much you love them and be sure to explain that even though the two of you are separating, their parents will always be there for them no matter what.
Children need to know that they are not responsible for your separation. Reassure them that they had nothing to do with the divorce. Let them know how much you love them and that they were the best thing that came from the marriage.
Show Respect for One Another
One of the biggest mistakes separating couples make is speaking poorly of the other spouse. This nearly always backfires. Bad-mouthing your soon-to-be-ex can lead to significant insecurities for your child and resentment directed back at you. Separating spouses should continue to be respectful of one another and show support. This will demonstrate to your children that, while you may not be together, you still take your responsibilities as parents and role models seriously.