How to Help Your Kids Through Your Divorce

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Hiring a lawyer is not something that we want to think about usually. If you run a large company, then you probably have lawyers on retainer for big cases or unexpected lawsuits. However, on a personal level, having attorneys on speed dial is not something that we tend to have; specifically a divorce lawyer. No one gets married, planning on getting a divorce. Well, not usually anyway. There are special circumstances but those don’t pertain to this article. Let’s talk a little bit more about divorce.

It’s a difficult thing to go through for the spouses but one thing that doesn’t get talk about enough is how it affects the children. They can’t see the bigger picture. As the parent, you know that this will be best for them as well as you but children only see the separation, they don’t see the future. Here are a few ways that you can help your children deal with your divorce.

Reassure them that you each still love them.
This is a very important factor in a divorce. Your children will likely hear a lot about how their parents don’t love each other anymore but they need to understand that your love for them has not wavered. If the divorce is amicable then you should sit down together with your children and reassure them of your love. It’s also good to have one and one time with each parent and each child. Take an hour a week with each kid and do something fun with them. This will speak much louder than you simply telling them that you still love them just as much as you did before.

Make sure they know that this is not their fault.
This is one of the main things that kids think when a divorce is happening. They feel like they have done something wrong and that you are stressed out or fighting because of them. It’s important to make sure that they know that the divorce has nothing to do with them. If the reason you are divorcing is something that you are willing to share with your children, then be honest with them. Let them know the real reason for the divorce so that they can stop feeling like it’s something that they could have done differently.

Be on the same parenting page as your spouse.
Do not bad mouth your former spouse to your children. This will not only confuse the kids and paint one another in a bad light but it will teach them that they can play you against each other. They need to know that while you will not be living together, you will still be in constant communication over the parenting decisions and they can not manipulate the situation to their advantage. This is a problem particularly with pre-teens and teenagers. Younger children haven’t figured out this method of manipulation yet. Before promising anything to your kids, talk with your former spouse and make sure that this is not something that they have already said no to.

Ask your lawyer to set up counselling sessions for the kids.
While you may not think it necessary, it’s still a good idea to have the kids sit with a therapist and get a professional opinion about their state of mind. It’s better if you aren’t there so that the child can feel free to express themselves. You may need to give express consent if the child is young. While the counselor will not be able to give you specifics as the child is their client, they will be able to let you know if they think the child would benefit from more therapy or if they are doing just fine

Put your kids’ feelings first.
When you are going through a divorce it’s easy to want to emote on everyone around you. This should be limited to your close friends and family and your therapist. Your social media page and your children should be kept out of it. Children cling to the emotions of their parents which means that if you are freaking out and an emotional mess, your children will be even more so. Put your kids first during this and ensure that you are not letting them bare the weight.

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