Children and Divorce: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child Cope

Children and Divorce 10 Tips for Helping Your Child Cope

How are you coping with your divorce?

Divorce is a hard time for both parties of a couple involved. The process can be harder if you have kids in the family. Divorce can bring a lot of heavy emotions, like loss and anxiety.

This can be a difficult transition, especially for children involved in a divorce. Young children may suffer from psychological impacts after watching their parents split up. However, there are some things you can do to help your child during this time.

In this article, we show you how to cope with children and divorce. Read on to discover some great divorce advice for parents when you’re divorcing with kids.

1. Tell Your Child You Love Them

Dealing with children and divorce means that your kids will take the brunt of the damage. The younger your child is, the more they may not understand the situation. This can make the transition period difficult and cause confusing emotions.

When a parent doesn’t come through, kids often assume they are the problem. It’s essential to reassure your child that you love them. Tell them that you and your spouse will love them.

2. Be Honest

When explaining the divorce to your child, be straightforward. Sugarcoating the situation may make it more difficult for your kid. Making excuses for your partner may prevent your child from expressing themselves.

As much as possible, both parents should be present while discussing divorce. As parents, honesty allows your children to realize that their feelings are important. Allowing your children to know the real reason why you’re divorcing will help them accept it.

3. Let Your Child Talk About Their Feelings

Going through a divorce may make your child feel a sense of loss of what they dreamed their family to be. Even if both parents stay involved, they may still grieve for the presence of their old family life. Many kids hope for their parents to get back together even after their parents explain it.

During this mourning period, allow your child to talk about their feelings. Helping your child’s emotional state will allow them to accept the new situation in time. First, legitimize your child’s feelings.

Encourage your kids to let out their feelings instead of holding them in. Let them know it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling. Offer support like watching their favorite movie or letting them talk to your ex on the phone.

4. Don’t Fight in Front of the Kids

At any time during the divorce, whether before, during, or after, avoid fighting in front of your kids. It’s normal to have the occasional fight in any family. However, unresolved conflict and hostility may make your child feel anxious.

Parents who fight in front of their kids tend to set a bad example. Children learn love languages and forming relationships according to their parents’ example. Kids who witness their parents fight may have behavioral and emotional issues as they grow.

5. Stay Consistent

For young children, routine and consistency are essential. It can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity during a difficult time. Try to minimize unpredictable transitions, separations, and schedules.

Kids benefit from individual bonding time with each parent, especially during a divorce. Work with your ex when planning visiting schedules.

6. Prioritize Peaceful Transitions

After a divorce, it’s only normal for there to be some hostility between the parents. Even if you’re not vocal with your ex-partner, your child may be able to sense the tension. This makes them anxious when both parents meet.

Many fathers avoid visiting their kids because they don’t want to see their ex. Seeing your partner after a divorce can cause a lot of conflicts. If this is your problem, allow your child to meet their parent on neutral grounds.

You can settle for dropping your child off at a neutral location like a school or a fast-food restaurant. Stay with your child until you see your ex-partner come to pick them up.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Divorcing with children may make it difficult to know what to prioritize. Many parents put their kids first but forget to take care of themselves. During a divorce, it’s essential to take care of yourself, especially with children.

Taking care of yourself first will allow you to be there for your kids in their time of need. Eating a healthy diet will help you feel better from the inside out. Exercise can be a great way to relieve pent-up anger and frustration.

8. Seek Help and Support

During a divorce, you may want to close yourself off from family and friends. However, during this time, getting support from friends and family is essential. They can help you through this difficult time and help relieve the stress from the divorce.

Your parents, siblings, or friends can also help your child feel less alone. Allowing your child to see other family members will allow them to feel loved and included. You can always ask your friends or family to avoid the topic if you don’t want to talk about it.

9. Compromise With Your Ex

Conflict can be damaging to your child’s mental and emotional health. If you’re in an argument with your ex, ask them to talk another time. Be polite with your ex even if you’re separated.

This sets a good example for your kids and allows them to feel more comfortable during this time. A conflict could root from or result in a custody battle. No matter the situation, it’s essential to remain civil with your ex.

10. Know When to Seek Professional Help

Anger and anxiety are normal reactions for a child going through a divorce. However, if your child starts showing the following, seek professional help.

  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep problems
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Self-injury
  • Eating disorders
  • Violent outbursts
  • Withdrawal from loved ones

These symptoms may be worse among adolescents. Consult a child therapist or guidance counselor.

Follow These 10 Tips for Coping With Children and Divorce

Dealing with children and divorce at the same time is not an easy task. Here are some tips to help you get through a divorce with your child.

But why stop here? If you’re looking for more tips on divorce and family, we invite you to check out our other guides for more!