The decision to get a divorce is rarely an easy one, but it can be even more complicated if there are children involved. It’s also natural for both partners to want to protect children from the pain and upheaval of a divorce, especially if they’re young.
The divorce process can be a lengthy one and there are many issues to sort out, from the division of your assets and finances to custody arrangements for the children. Parents are likely to be preoccupied at times, but it’s vital that children get the support and care they need during this difficult process. With this in mind, read on for our brief guide to helping children cope with divorce or separation.
Shield children from conflict
Divorce can be very stressful and it’s natural for emotions to be running high. However, it’s vital to shield children from conflict as much as possible – don’t argue in front of them and don’t badmouth your partner in front of your children. They may have some questions about why you broke up, but try to be as diplomatic and age appropriate as possible.
Offer lots of reassurance
Many children will be feeling anxious, sad and scared about the separation and what it means for their lives going forward. It’s also common for children to internalise these feelings and think that they did something wrong to cause the divorce. It’s very important to offer your children lots of love and reassurance, and remind them that the divorce does not affect the love and care you feel for them.
Help them vocalise their feelings
Keep communications open and encourage children to talk about their feelings surrounding the divorce. They might need a little prompting, such as ‘I’m sensing you feel sad right now, would you like to talk about it?’. If they’re struggling to talk then you could encourage them to draw or write down their feelings.
Keep as much routine as possible
Young children especially rely on routines for comfort and safety, so try to stick to your usual schedule as much as possible. This might be difficult if children are going between homes, but parents can work together to stick to bedtimes, mealtimes and weekly activities.
Divorce is a difficult time and it’s important to have someone on your side. If you’re looking for legal advice to help you through the process, get in touch with the experts at Crystal Law Solicitors. We specialise in child law issues and can work with you to get the best outcome for you and your children. For more information or to arrange an appointment, give us a call today or get in touch