Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce
No matter how necessary it is, divorce is a hard process for couples to go through. For those who share children, however, it can be an even more difficult situation, especially when the time comes to tell them about your impending divorce and the changes that will surely come with it. While there is no way to go about completely eliminating the heartbreaking moment when you tell them that their parents will no longer live together, there are ways to help them cope and process this new information in a healthy way.
Below are some of the ways in which you can help your children cope with divorce:
- Make sure your children know they are loved: You might think it should be obvious to your children that they are loved, but divorce is undoubtedly a major shock for them and they might feel uncertain about things they once knew to be true. Reassure your child that just because your relationship with your spouse is changing does not mean your love for them will change. If their other parent starts to flake or cancels visits at the last minute, remind them that this does not mean they are not loved. It just means that adults make mistakes sometimes too.
- Legitimize their feelings: Your kids are going to feel sad, upset, lonely, and a vast range of many other emotions as they learn to cope with this situation. Let them know that their feelings are valid, so they can let it all out. Encouraging your children to express their emotions is an important part of the healing process and the first step toward feeling better and, once they do, let them know that feeling happy again is okay.
- Offer your support: Your children might not be able to think of what you can do to help them, or they might even believe nothing will help, so try to be proactive and think of a few suggestions for them. Perhaps you could just sit together or take a walk. If your spouse has already moved out, they might appreciate the offer to call him or her on the phone for reassurance.
- Help them put their feelings into words: Your children might have a hard time expressing themselves, but their behavior can hint at what they are feeling, so talk to them about it and help them put whatever they are feeling into words, even if it might be hard for you to hear.
- Make sure you keep yourself healthy: Throughout the course of a divorce, you are likely to be overwhelmed by many stressors that will relentlessly pile up. To avoid the worst coming out of you as a result, try to find ways to manage your stress. It will be essential not only for your own well-being, but for your children as well. After all, it will be hard to care for them to the best of your ability if you yourself are not in good emotional or physical health.
- Keep the details to yourself: Your kids might want to know all the details, but that does not mean they should. The problem with going down that road is that it becomes easy to vilify the other parent and you might resort to blaming or name-calling. Remember, no matter how angry you are with your spouse, he or she is still a parent to your children and harming their perception of him or her will only harm them. This means also being careful about keeping your letters, emails, and texts secure and away from the prying eyes of your children.
Family Law Attorney in Burbank
If you and your spouse are moving forward with a divorce, we understand how difficult this situation must be. At Fusco & Clarke, our Los Angeles family law attorneys have the skill and insight to quickly resolve numerous family law matters, regardless of the complexities involved. Backed by decades of experience, you can be confident in our ability to represent you.
For the legal assistance you need during this time, contact our office today at (818) 672-1562 to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.