There’s no doubt that divorce will be difficult for you in some regard, whether that be emotionally, financially, or both. That said, there are ways for you to ease the burden and stress associated with marriage dissolution. Your children, on the hand, aren’t as adept at handling these sorts of situations. In fact, once they hear the news of divorce, they might feel like the life they know has evaporated, leaving them with crushing uncertainty.
As a result, your children are likely to exhibit a wide variety of emotions during and after your divorce. This can include profound sadness, anxiety, confusion, and anger. They might withdraw from you and their friends, and their behavior might take an erratic turn in a way that disrupts their school functioning and performance. This is worrisome, for sure. But there are steps that you can take to try to minimize the impact of divorce on your children.
How to reduce your divorce’s impact on your children
It’s not easy to rationally talk through the intricacies of your marriage dissolution with your children. But there are things you can do to make the process easier for them. Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Don’t lie: Your kids are smart. If they ask you questions and you lie to them, they’re going to know. Therefore, you’re better off being honest with them, but don’t be so honest that you share information that can impact their well-being or their relationship with their other parent.
- Don’t allow your child to work it out on their own: Some parents think that their children will work through their emotions on their own. But this is a mistake. Children aren’t equipped with the tools needed to process such intense emotions on their own. Instead, you’ll need to step in and engage when you see that your child is exhibiting concerning behavior. You can also seek out mental health counseling for them if you think that kind of support would be helpful.
- Teach your children emotional intelligence: One way your children can better handle their emotions is by learning to talk about them. But this is a skill that’s developed over time. You can help your kids build this skill by regularly talking to them about how they’re feeling and encouraging them to talk about their emotions.
- Facilitate time between your child and their other parent: Once your children find some sort of stability, routine, and a sense of normalcy, their emotional responses might level out. One way you can help with this is by fostering a relationship between your child and their other parent, unless doing so is unsafe for your child’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being.
- Seek consistency: To avoid your child preferring time with one parent over the other, try to find consistency between the two households on issues of discipline and other rules. Again, this will help provide them with much needed structure and avoid them becoming overwhelmed with too many changes.
Don’t be too afraid of how divorce will impact your children
You have to take your children’s well-being into account when you get a divorce. But your fears about how they’ll respond to your marriage dissolution shouldn’t stop you from ending your marriage if it’s become toxic and harmful to you and your kids. After all, divorce very well might be the best outcome for you and your kids.
So, if you want to get through your divorce as effectively and efficiently as possible, while still protecting your future and your children, then now is the time to start developing your legal strategy.