Separation can be a very difficult time, especially when the couple has children. Young children, who mainly depend on their parents for stability and support, may become insecure and fearful. Older children and adolescents may lash out in anger or withdraw from the family completely. Regardless of the child's age, however, it is important to take steps to reduce the negative impact of a divorce on them.
Gradually Introduce Changes
During and after a divorce, children often have to deal with sudden and significant changes in their lives, such as spending separate them with parents each parent in two different houses. Let your children continue their day-to-day routine by allowing them the time and space to do the usual, pre-divorce activities they enjoyed with friends and extended family. Additionally, let them continue to attend their regular school and extra-curricular activities. Children better accept the bigger changes, such as one parent moving to another city or state, when they have enough time to adjust.
Plan with the Other Parent
ConnollySuthers says that when dealing with family law cases, it is not always possible for separated couples to reach an agreement. Despite this, it is still a good idea to talk to the other parent concerning ways to ease the transition for the kids. By getting on the same page and working out a plan together, you and your ex-spouse communicate to your children that they should not worry so much.
Communicate Openly and Reinforce Support
Even though parents never intend to involve, there are some cases when arguments erupt right in front of them. When younger children see this, they may feel that their actions caused the conflict. As a parent, reinforce your support by telling them that the conflict is not their fault. This helps children deal with the separation properly, allowing them to understand that they do not have to pick sides. Furthermore, it makes the transition easier for the entire family.
With this is mind, you will not only help your children come to terms with the big changes in their life, but also help them thrive. Separation will always be difficult, but as parents, you do have some ability to minimise the negative impact on your children.