Children can feel the weight of your divorce in ways you might never understand. As you and your soon-to-be ex navigate the divorce process, the best thing you can do for your children is keep their feelings top of mind and address them.
You might not have been open with your children about the arguments, differences or incidents that led up to your decision to divorce, which is understandable. But, once you decide that separating from your spouse will make you a better person and stronger parent, it’s important to clue your children in and check in with them regularly. And you should continue to keep your children out of any arguments that you and your ex fall into as you finalize your divorce or as you transition from partners to co-parents.
One of the first things you can do to help your children through divorce is to let them know you are separating from your spouse. This conversation shouldn’t be a spur of the moment one. Rather, you should have a thoughtful discussion with all your children guided by both you and your ex. Be sure to let your children know nothing about your falling out with your spouse is their fault.
There are a lot of ins and outs of divorce that can cause stress, from custody planning to accepting the division of all your assets. To protect your children from seeing you fall into potential arguments with your ex, it’s crucial to plan to have these tough conversations when your children aren’t nearby.
Keeping the same attitude after divorce is also important. Because even though you may picture a perfect co-parent scenario, disagreements could still arise. According to a study, children in high-conflict homes don’t process emotions the same way as children in low-conflict homes, which could cause difficulty in social situations.
Even if your child seems to be taking on the transitions of divorce and living in two homes optimistically, they might still be internally processing the whole situation. So, if you aren’t already having regular conversations with your children about their day, life, thoughts and feelings, then after divorce is just as good of a time as any.