Sometimes, marriage doesn’t work out. It’s a sad fact that is difficult for most adults. But when children are involved, the process of a family separating becomes even more painful and stressful. No matter what age the kids are or how much their parents try to shield them, the children will sense the tension, and it’s scary for them.
Many may experience feelings of guilt that they did something wrong. Others may start to act out or become depressed. Experts agree that being open with your child about what’s happening is the best thing to do. Mental illness diagnoses are on the rise.
According to the CDC, one in five people live with some form of the disease. Trauma and stress can certainly affect mental health, so children must continue to feel safe and loved during a divorce. You may not be able to stop the legal process of divorce, but there are things you can do to help your child understand what’s happening and get them through it. Read on for tips to help your child through divorce.
1. Stay Involved
No matter what you’re going through, remember that your child is going through it, too. Both parents must stay in the St as involved as before the divorce. Keep attending their activities like games, recitals, and performances.
Be there to help with homework, eat meals together, and talk about everyday things. Consider having a special day or activity for just the two of you. Reinforcing that your love has not changed for them and that you’re there just as before is essential to making them feel secure.
2. Work at Co-Parenting
When divorce happens, it’s easy to forget that the child still has two parents. This is why successful co-parenting is crucial for your child to understand it’s not their fault. Kids need to know that both parents will continue to be there and support them. You don’t need to be a couple, but you do need to raise your child together. Think of it as a traditional Margherita pizza. According to Couples Cooks, this Italian delight requires three toppings of tomato sauce, cheese, and basil; if one ingredient is missing, it’s just not the same.
Consider starting by taking a parenting class together. Be flexible and communicate with each other. Respect each other’s boundaries and parenting styles. Allow the kids to share news and talk about the other parent. Let them have items at both homes that remind them of the other parent. Try to attend activities together and show your child you support their endeavors.
3. Don’t Talk Bad About The Other Parent
If you feel the need to vent, call a friend. Talking badly about each other to your child will make them think they must choose and can cause stress. It also makes adults seem petty, and you may lose your child’s respect.
4. Keep a Routine
Your child’s routine must stay as consistent as possible. Make sure their school, activities, and friendships are not upset by the divorce. Keep parenting times set in stone. If an emergency occurs where the schedule needs to change, explain to your child why.
5. Consider Counseling
It’s OK to ask for help. Regardless of age, kids can benefit from talking to a professional. While tweens and teens can verbally express their feelings more easily than young children, professionals can use special techniques to help the younger crowd.
Art therapy and books are often used in counseling. According to Genius of Play, pretend play can help kids as young as three to understand real-world issues. So, it’s never the wrong age to reach out and get some help. A divorce is a life-changing event for children. But if the adults in their lives handle it openly, honestly, and respectfully, they can make it through feeling safe and loved.