With so many families today filing for a divorce, it won't be a complete shocker to your children when they hear that a divorce is happening. It may; however, shock them when they realize that split is with their own parents. After much consideration, you and your spouse know that a divorce is what is best for each of you and ultimately your family. So, how do you make this any easier on the children? Your greatest fear is how they will cope and whether they will be able to forgive you for changing their lives so abruptly.
When going through a divorce, how you help your children is absolutely essential to their being able to deal with the many changes. Most importantly, it is crucial that you not only reaffirm your love for them, but also that you make sure they understand that this divorce is NOT their fault by any means. It is very common for children of divorcing parents to believe that had they done something different that their parents would stay together. Sit down with them and share that there is nothing they could have done, or not have done, that would have kept you tow together.
A divorce is going o be difficult for your children no matter what, therefore make it a priority to be straightforward with them from the beginning. This means don't try to create a cover story to explain what is happening, sit down with the kids and explain that their parents are divorcing. You don't need to go into gory details, just help the children know that your marriage will be coming to an end, though no matter that they will still always be your children. Something as simple as sharing that mom and dad can no longer get along anymore is enough to help them realize the situation.
Another important step of your divorce when it comes to helping your children is addressing the changes that are to happen as soon as possible. How much you explain will depend largely on how old the kids are, though it is important to give them some time to start chewing on the fact that life will be different once the divorce is final. Whether this means preparing them for a new home or a new school, etc. it is going to be helpful for them to have the chance to think things through and mentally prepare before the actual changes to occur. Also, when discussing the many changes to come in the near future, let your kids know that you will walk them through every step.
There are obviously many reasons that have led up to you and your spouse choosing to file for a divorce, and while the tension levels may be high; save that emotion when you are not around the children. By letting them hear your resentment and even blame shifting is not going to help them at all, and it may even make them feel that they are being forced to choose sides in the divorce. By having a level of respect for your children's parent, they will be able to cope with the changes a little more easily.
Lastly, make sure that your kids know that they can talk about their problems during this time. Don't let them feel as though they have to act like nothing is happening, offer them a listening ear or a counselor therapist so that they can work through the many emotions they are struggling with. Let them know it is okay to be confused and agree, and that you want to walk with them through this every step of the way. If you are considering the option of filing for a divorce, and have concerns regarding the topic of child custody and the like, contact the Hopper Law Office, PLLC today for an experienced attorney that you deserve!