In many cases, a divorce can mean a long process of negotiations and learning how to adjust to your new life. Over the years you were married, you and the other family members grew accustomed to a certain sense of what normal means for your everyday lives.
Just as you are learning how divorce impacts your routine and lifestyle, your children are learning how to adapt to changes in their lives. While some children may seem to cope with divorce better than others, all children experience some impact from such a significant change.
Here’s what you should know about divorce’s impact on children and how you can help them cope.
A bad relationship is complicated for everyone
Some parents hesitate to move forward with divorce because they do not want the stereotypical negative impacts on their children. However, your children will notice when things are tense between you and your spouse, no matter how discreet you try to be.
While your children may have difficulty coping with the adjustment that comes with divorced parents, it may be easier to move forward after putting some of the conflicts behind you.
Supporting your child through your divorce
Many emotions come with divorce. In one moment, you may feel relief or excitement; in the next, you may be worried or nervous. Your child will go through many emotions, too.
Helping your child through a divorce is complex. While you should not lean on your child as you would a trusted friend or family member, it may help them to see that you feel a range of emotions, too. You should talk to your child about what is happening and allow them to ask questions. As much as possible, you should try to answer their questions with age-appropriate answers to develop their trust further.
Also, it is essential to establish a new sense of normal for yourself and your children. You will need new routines and may need to consider new traditions when it is time for special events like birthdays and holidays.
While a divorce can be challenging, you can help your child adapt by having open and honest communication.