Ten Tips for Making Divorce Easier on Your Kids

Minimizing the Effect of Divorce on Children

Divorce_KidsEveryone in a family struggles getting through a divorce. It’s not just the parents who have a hard time adjusting financially, mentally, and emotionally. To help your children adapt to the new family dynamics, follow these 10 tips:

1. Tell your children the honest truth about divorce. Every child needs to understand that divorce is final and not up for debate. However, the age of the child will determine how you explain the situation, as younger children may not need as many details.

2. When explaining divorce to your kids, ALWAYS make it clear that they were not the reason for your divorce. Work with the other parent to set consistent rules.

3. Your kids don’t need to know about your anger and resentment towards the other parent. Don’t tell them about arguments or other adult issues.

4. Encourage questions from your kids. Opening the communication lines lets your children know they can share their feelings now and in the future.

5. Tell your child about upcoming events and other life changes before they happen. A child will adjust better if they know about schedules, visitations, and activities.

6. Work with the other parent to set consistent rules. The goal should be to enforce the same rules the kids have grown to expect.

7. If your child acts out by misbehaving, validate their feelings first. The bad behavior could be coming from a place of pain, anger, sadness, and confusion over your divorce.

8. Spend quality time with your child every day. This means no distractions when you’re devoting time to your family.

9. Make your home a safe place and somewhere your child wants to be.

10. Find a counselor or therapist who can talk to your children about the divorce and problems they are working through.

 

 Tips provided by:

Dishon & Block

Divorce Attorneys

 

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Great article but I would like to add a few points. First, you might tell your children it is not their fault but I have found that most kids still take on some responsibility. I recently heard one such case, she told me “…well my mom said her and dad were having money problems and that’s why they divorced, but if I hadn’t of begged them to keep me in my ballet classes maybe they could have used that money and still be together.” Kids are extremely intuitive and the pick up on things that we are oblivious to. This child I cited overheard her parents arguing about money and when she heard her name and the reference to her ballet classes as part of the argument, it stuck. We have to be very clear when telling children about divorce. I feel if you are going to be specific , you need to be VERY specific. If money is an issue, let them know just that…”honey, your father and I have been struggling for several years with several issues, issues that have nothing to do with you. We love you and we are going to work very hard to see that your life is not disrupted by this change. We want you to know that we expect you to come to us and let us know how your feeling and what we can do as a family to make you feel more secure though this transition, okay?” I too feel that opening up the lines of communication is vital to preserving your relationship with your children, especially teens.

    lastly, if your child is or isn’t acting out and you think they should get some therapy, make certain you get written consent from the other parent. Most temporary and permanent parenting plans call for “joint decision making for non-emergency medical treatment.” If you proceed without consent you could be in violation of your parenting plan and if your ex, or soon to be ex is the evil, vindictive type, you could be hit with a Contempt Of Court charge and subject to arrest and losing your child.

  2. Telling my kids that their dad was gone and wasn’t coming back was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. They were 4 and 7 at the time and my oldest son totally thought it was his fault. He cried and said he left because he didn’t feed the dogs and accidentally spilled his soda in the gear box of the car. Honestly I think it would have been better to tell him he died instead. You just gotta love them through it. I wish the leavers knew how horrible this is on the kids.

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