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Hartford Kids’ Wellness
Each divorce has its own set of challenges, but those issues intensify when children are involved. You love your kids unconditionally and don’t want to see them suffer. However, you understand that they will cycle through some emotions as your marriage comes to an end. These emotions might be uncomfortable, but they can help your children become wise, resilient, and confident when appropriately processed. As a parent, you can take the lead by supporting your children. By providing positive support and avoiding some negatives, your child will grow stronger during this challenging time, and your bond can strengthen as well. Feel free to reach out to Freed Marcroft if you need additional help supporting your child as you navigate divorce.
What to Avoid
Even though you may sometimes feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, you need to be careful about how you interact with your children. Do not:
- Fight in front of your kids.
- Disrupt their routines.
- Express negativity.
- Use the children as messengers so you can communicate with the other parent.
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HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT DIVORCE
Safeguarding your children’s wellbeing should begin when you tell them about the divorce. Children tend to remember that moment for the rest of their lives, so take special care when choosing the setting and the circumstances. Tell all the children at once instead of telling them one at a time. That way, no child is left responsible for keeping a secret until the other kids know. Also, no one will feel resentful after being told last. When you tell them, let them experience the feelings as they arise. They might have some unexpected emotions, but that’s OK.
Finally, don’t drag the divorce out for years and years. This puts additional stress on the children. End it quickly, so you can begin moving forward with your lives. This will put your children on the path to heal from the divorce.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR KIDS DURING THE DIVORCE
You need to provide ample support to your children during the divorce. Stay involved in your children’s activities, even if you are worried about seeing the other parent. You also need to have fun with your kids. Be there to talk about feelings when they want to, and don’t forget that having fun is a critical part of any relationship. Be there to answer questions if your kids have any, but don’t provide unnecessary details. Don’t place blame on the other parent (or even yourself). Stay neutral; only let them know that the divorce is not their fault, and that both you and the other parent love them very much.
FACILITATE ACCESS TO BOTH PARENTS
Divorces are difficult for children. They are often afraid of how often they’ll see both parents. Support and facilitate your kids relationship with the other parent with a well-thought out parenting plan. When kids have ample time with both parents, they are better-equipped to handle the transition. Also, by showing your children that you want them to spend time with the other parent, they won’t feel guilty about contacting the parent behind your back. Everyone wins when you ensure that your kids have a relationship with the other parent.
PROTECT THE KIDS WITH MEDIATION OR COLLABORATION
If possible, utilize mediation or collaborative divorce instead of litigation. Mediation and collaboration are both non-adversarial methods of divorce. The private meetings are less contentious and less stressful for children. Mediation and collaboration will help you focus on negotiating and doing what is best for the children. Also, by negotiating during the divorce, you can walk away with a better relationship with your ex-spouse. This can make co-parenting much easier and take the pressure off your children.