Separating a family is hard on everyone, but it is especially difficult for children. In fact, some children find divorce traumatic, and they may feel guilty.
Other children may suffer emotional trauma that results in academic and behavioral issues. However, you can help your children cope with divorce. These are four tips to help.
1. Avoid speaking negatively about your co-parent
Whether you love your ex-spouse or not, your children do. Therefore, avoid saying anything negative about your counterpart. You can make your children feel guilty or as if they will betray you if they love their other parent. You never want to make them feel like they have to take sides.
2. Pursue open communication
Your children need your honesty. Therefore, when they ask questions, tell them the truth. You do not have to go into detail, but you should explain the situation in a way that they can understand. Simplify what is going on, but reassure them that you love them. Plan your conversations as much as possible to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
3. Work with your former spouse
You may find it difficult to work closely with your former spouse, but this is necessary. Your children need to see you getting along and working together. Do not fight in front of your children and do not use them as messengers. Instead, do everything you can to appear supportive and collaborative and discuss issues when they are not present.
4. Build routines
Children need structure, so build solid routines and do what you can to keep them in place. Maintain your house rules. Reinforce their chores and other responsibilities, and keep visitations consistent.
Remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time. Exercise and eat healthy, spend time with friends, journal and take time for yourself.