There’s no shortage of divorces in the United States every year and often stuck in the middle, are the children of these separated couples. Children can react differently to divorce depending on a wide range of circumstances from their age to why their parents decided to split.
Every divorce is different, and your kids will be affected in one way or another. However, with enough effort on your part as parents, it’s possible to make it easier on your kids. In fact, some people argue that divorce can be a valuable tool for kids to learn about adversity. In some cases, their parents’ divorce may result in coming out stronger.
If you’re going through a divorce with kids, here are some of the things that you can do to help them through the difficulties.
One of the biggest mistakes that separating parents make is beating around the bush. However, you’re not doing your kids any favors by trying to dance around the facts. Tell your kids as clearly as possible what’s happening.
Depending on their age, you may have to use language that’s easy for them to understand. Younger children may need it explained in a way that’s more relatable to them, whereas older children may be capable of hearing a more realistic version.
It’s important that you reassure them that even though there may be changes, nothing will alter the amount of love that you have for them. It’s important to explain that it has nothing to do with them.
One of the most common reactions that children have is worrying that their parents’ separation is their fault. Remind them that divorce is a result of parents’ feelings changing for each other, and has nothing to do with their children’s behavior.
Encourage Them To Express Themselves
Kids will have all sorts of reactions depending on various factors. Some may shut down completely, while others may react with anger and screaming. Whatever kind of a reaction you get, it’s essential to encourage them to let out the way that they feel.
Don’t discourage their feelings and tell them that there is no wrong way to feel. If they start to act out in school or their appetites or sleep patterns are affected, consider seeking professional help.
Answer Their Questions
Kids are naturally inquisitive, so it’s expected that they’ll have plenty of questions surrounding the divorce. “Where will they go to school?” “Will they have two houses?” “How will Christmas work?”
Whatever their questions are, be as patient as possible in answering. Sometimes you may not even have all the answers, but your job as a parent is to tell them what they need to know and reassure them. In time, you’ll all make it through the tough experience.