Divorce can be rough in general, but it can be even tougher on children. It’s a major life change that can change the course of their upbringing significantly and should be handled well to minimize the adverse effects this can have on them as much as possible. A civil lawsuit attorney can help make the process smoother and guide your children through the legal proceedings while you stand as emotional support. You shouldn’t try to sway their decisions and should leave the legalities to those in court.
Though you can’t completely shield your children from the turmoil that this shift brings, there are many things you can do to make it easier for them.
Be honest but gentle when breaking the news.
Sugarcoating things won’t do your children any favors, but it’s still best to let them know the situation with gentleness so that it doesn’t feel as scary. It can be an abrupt change, so it could help to talk things out and explain things to them transparently while taking their own sensitivities into account. Make sure they know it’s not their fault and try to avoid playing the blame game as it could turn the talk sour.
Make sure they feel heard and take their choices into account.
Don’t let this be a one-way street that feels like they have no say in what direction things are headed. Ask them how they feel, encourage them to speak up and be honest, and make sure they don’t feel burdened by the decisions that have to come of this. When it comes to deciding custody, it’s essential to let them know that their wants and needs matter and that their choice will be taken into account before things push through.
Reassure them throughout the process
A lot of doubts and confusion can crop up for your child during this time, and distress can affect their schooling, socializing, and development, whether they are toddlers or adolescents. It’s essential to be mindful and aware of behavioral changes that may be their response to the divorce. Withdrawal, aggression, depression, somatic complaints can all be indicative that they are adjusting poorly. Hence, it’s important to remind them that you have their back, they are loved, and that this was a choice between the parents not working out.
Try to agree before broaching it to your kids.
To ensure that your kids don’t get embroiled in a messy divorce full of tension and arguments, try to talk about the custody situation with your ex-partner early on. Though there may be a lot of disagreements and bad blood, it can help your child if you can both come to a balanced outcome that will be easier for them to accept when you do end up telling them about the divorce.
Maintain some positive routines.
Drastic changes that come with divorce can affect the comforts that kids have come to know from home. Try to continue routines that they’ve gotten used to and maintain these sources of happiness so that they can feel a semblance of stability during this time. If family outings are still on the table, this can help the kids feel like they aren’t losing their pillars of family and union. Just establish to your kids that you and your former spouse are simply getting along so that they don’t build any false hopes.
Children of divorce can still grow up well if their parents can co-parent and maintain healthy bonds with their kids.