How to Help Your Child Cope with Divorce
Divorce is hard on everyone, but it’s especially hard on kids. Big changes are happening around them, and they have no control over any of it. Plus, they will no longer be able to live with both of their parents, which can threaten their sense of security and their sense of identity.
You won’t be able to nullify all the negative impacts of divorce for your children, but you can make the process a bit easier on them. Here are a few things you can do to help your children cope with divorce:
Break the News As Soon as Possible
Your kids know more than you think they do, and they can sense when something isn’t right. When you aren’t telling them what’s going on, that can cause tension and anxiety for them. You need to tell them the news of your divorce in Mesa as soon as you can – ideally right after you decide yourselves.
Breaking the news early also gives kids time to process the information before the big changes start taking place, like one or both of you moving out of the family home.
Kids are going to have a lot of questions when you tell them that you are getting divorced around the Valley. You should answer their questions, and you should be prepared to provide as much information as possible when you break the news. At the top of their minds will likely be whether they are going to move, if they will have to change schools, and where each of their parents is going to live.
If you don’t have specific answers to all these questions, you should give as much information as you can, including where you are in the process of deciding and what factors will determine the decision.
Empathize with their Feelings
You may have had time to sit with the idea that you are getting divorced through Mesa, but this is going to come as a major shock to your children. They may feel scared, angry, or even guilty, blaming themselves for your split. You will need to be patient and allow your children to talk through their feelings. Empathize with what they are feeling and let them know that you understand and you are available to talk when they need to talk.
Limit the Details
Some kids will ask a lot of questions about the “why” behind your divorce. Though you may be angry at your spouse and looking for retribution or validation, your kids are not the right source for it. Do not share adult details about what went wrong in your relationship. Do not talk about going to court or suing your spouse for child custody. Do not talk about how your ex wants to take half your retirement account or that your ex is already dating.
Keep the details kid-friendly, and vent to your friend or therapist when you need that.
The news that you are getting divorce through Mesa can make your kids feel like the rug has just been pulled out from under them. You can’t change that, but you can help your child feel more secure by making things as consistent as possible. Stick to your usual routines where possible. Continue to eat at the same time each night. Set a visitation schedule and stick to it. Ensure that the kids do the same things with both parents, such as go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
The more consistent things are in your child’s life, the better he or she will be able to handle the other changes that have occurred. Part of consistency is continuing to enforce the rules. Your child needs to know that you are still the parent, and you are still the leader. Don’t let things fall apart even if you feel like you are falling apart.
Have Heated Talks away from the Kids
You are bound to have some fights or some intense discussions with your spouse during the course of your divorce in Mesa and even long afterward. Do everything you can NOT to have these fights in front of your kids. It will only increase their anxiety, and it may make them feel like they need to side with one of you, which can lead to guilt and depression.
Create a calm and reassuring environment for your child, and keep your fighting in private.
Manage Your Own Stress and Health
You can’t reassure your children and offer them the emotional support they need if you are stressed out, depressed, and angry. You may feel many of these things as you go through your divorce in Mesa, but you should have methods for managing your emotions so that you can be there for your children. Spend time with friends. Get plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy diet. Talk to a therapist. By being the best you that you can be, you can be the best parent to your children.
Divorce is hard on everyone, but you can make it less hard on your children. Keep encouraging your children to talk to you about what they’re feeling, and keep being there for them and showing them empathy. Go see a therapist together as a family if you need to, or take your children to see individual therapists for additional support.
Getting the right divorce lawyer can help you get through the divorce process as quickly and as painlessly as possible. My AZ Lawyers can help you to get the divorce settlement you want through mediation, negotiation, or even trial. Our divorce attorneys will provide guidance throughout the process so that you can feel assured and better able to make decisions for yourself and your children. We’ll also help you explore options to get the resolution you want through the least contentious routes. Call us today to talk with an experienced divorce lawyer about your case.
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