Guiding Your Children Safely Through Your Divorce, Part 3
How Can You Help Your Children Get Through Your Divorce?
In Part 3 of our series, we offer practical suggestions you can can help your children survive your divorce. Check off the ones you have done and circle the ones you plan to do.
- Assure your children that the divorce was not their fault.
- Assure your children that both parents love them.
- Tell your children that it’s OK to feel sad because they miss their other parent.
- Maintain the individual relationships you have with each of your children. Encourage the other parent to do the same.
- Stick to a daily routine with your children.
- Make changes in your children’s lives slowly, let them discuss these changes with you. Reward your children for their efforts in making these changes.
- Encourage your children to play with friends and participate in other age-appropriate activities.
- Encourage your children to continue to pursue their interests.
- Don’t ask your children, either directly or indirectly, which parent they love more.
- Be reasonable in sharing your children’s time with their other parent.
- Acknowledge that your children may want you and your former spouse to reunite. Gently, don’t encourage or support this wish.
- Talk with your children honestly about any changes that will affect them before they occur.
- Support your children’s need to visit their other parent.
- Support your children’s desire to love both of you. Tell them it’s OK
- Don’t use your children as a counselor or source of emotional support. Seeing parents needy and dependent may make children feel insecure. Find an adult who can fulfill these needs for you.
- Remind your children that you and your former spouse will still take care of them.
- Show your children that you trust their ability adapt to these changes.
You and your spouse have come to the decision to divorce and perhaps have made some sort of peace with it. But to your children, this decision can be an unexpected shock that rocks their world. How you guide them through the divorce process will set the stage for how well they adjust and hopefully thrive.
©2016 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation