Sometimes parents who are going through divorce fear that their children will not be able to cope with the change. Although children may initially struggle with their parents’ divorce, research has shown that most children are able to bounce back within the first two years. However, divorcing parents who are concerned about their children’s recovery may consider several actions to help their children cope with the change.
Talk to your kids about the divorce
One of the best things you can do to help your kids is talk to them about the divorce. Children often benefit from honest, age appropriate explanations. Be sure to include where the children will live and who will take care of them. Remind them that both parents still love them and that the divorce is not their fault.
It is also helpful for you to be prepared to answer a variety of questions. Some questions may come after a child has had time to process some of the initial information, so make sure your children know that they can continue to talk to you about the changes that may happen or about their feelings.
Keep conflicts away from the children
Children typically weather divorce better when they are not exposed to the parent’s conflicts with each other. For this reason, it can be beneficial for your children if you and their other parent have divorce-related conversations away from them.
You can also shelter your child from conflicts by respecting your children’s desire to maintain a relationship with their other parent. You can show your support by not letting them hear you make negative comments about their other parent. You can also show support by making sure they are ready to see the other parent at the agreed upon time, and making sure that you do not make them feel guilty for going.
Divorce is often difficult for everyone in the family, including the kids. However, children are often resilient, and with support from their parents, most children recover from divorce relatively quickly. Learn more about Kids and Divorce.