In the U.S., almost half of all couples divorce. Generally, splitting is a good option when you need to maintain a stable, healthy family for your children. However, while divorce may be in the best interest of your children, it is still a traumatic experience. Kids have to undergo a lot of changes in a short period of time.
As you navigate a divorce, you will likely have your own feelings of stress, fear and grief, but as a parent, you must also acknowledge your child’s feelings to lessen the blow.
Recognize the child’s loss
Children of divorce tend to have higher levels of anxiety and antisocial behavior than their peers. The trauma of divorce can occur before and after the breakup. Generally, before a divorce, homes may have a lot of tension. Children may hear or see fighting within the family, which can cause a lot of stress, even after the breakup.
Likewise, children have to adjust to two separate households when you divorce. They must find a safe place in both homes and acclimate to seeing one parent more or less than before. When you recognize your child’s pain, you can comfort and guide them through it.
Refrain from fighting with your ex
Do not fight or talk negatively about your ex in front of your kids. Kids may feel they need to pick sides or have some accountability in the divorce. Let your kids know they did not do anything to cause the divorce and help them feel loved by you and your former spouse. Children do better when they do not have to witness more tension.
While divorce is traumatic, you can help your child get through it and to ease the impact over time.