A divorce isn’t something that happens only between a husband and a wife. Children can feel the pain of the divorce even more intensely. Since they lack the coping skills of adults and the perspective to see the intricacies of why the divorce is necessary, children may experience the stages of grief and other types of pain during the divorce process.
It’s important to step up and let your children know that you acknowledge and are there to help soothe their pain. Let your children know the following five essential things during and after the divorce.
Encourage Your Children to Express Their Feelings
Children need to be able to express their feelings throughout the divorce process. If they are not allowed to healthily express their feelings, then they will repress or vent them in unhealthy ways.
Talking about your own feelings is a great idea, and the example can help your children understand that it is safe to express their own emotions. You may even explain why you feel the way you do. Just be careful to avoid revealing angry emotions or bitter feelings about your ex to your children.
Express Your Remorse for the Situation
Although you may not have done anything that causes you genuine remorse, you are probably very sad to see that your children are going through the pain and confusion of your divorce.
Let your children know that you are sad that they have to experience this situation and say that you are sorry. Your children likely aren’t going to interpret this remark to mean that you are accepting blame for the divorce. Instead, they will learn that it is a good thing to express sorrow over a situation that affects others.
Repeat How Much You Love Your Children Each Day
Your children need to know that they are loved, and they need to hear these words loud and clear when they get insecure during the divorce.
You can say that you love your children in a variety of different ways. Try leaving notes in their lunch boxes or giving them small presents with notes that express your love. Children will ultimately feel much more secure if they get consistent reminders of your unconditional love.
Offer Your Children the Opportunities to Go to Therapy
Therapy is a great tool for every member of the family during a divorce. Depending on your children’s ages, you may offer them the opportunities to go to therapy. If your children have problems with eating or sleeping that persist for several weeks, they may need to see a psychologist for help.
If your children exhibit any changes in behaviors or show signs of depression, take them to see a therapist.
Shower Your Children in Sincere Praise
Children’s self-esteem can sometimes be negatively affected by a divorce, but you can help prevent this damage by consistently showing your children all the positive things about them.
However, when your children make mistakes, don’t gloss over them . Rebut their actions but explain that nobody is perfect, and turn your children’s attentions towards the things that you appreciate about them. Spend one-on-one time with your children and point out the positive things that they do and say.
Finally, express all of these things to your children throughout the divorce process and listen to what they say. Keep in mind that your children will be looking to you for guidance throughout the divorce.
It is important to maintain an overall positive attitude when talking to your children about the changes that are going on within the family. While you don’t want to sugarcoat anything during the divorce, your children need the reassurance that these transitions are going to be good for every member of the family.
If you are looking for a skilled lawyer to assist you and your children while your family goes through a divorce, FRED is there to help.