Even if they are amicable and quick, divorces are never an easy thing. And they can be that much worse for the kids.
If you have kids and you are going through a divorce, you will do whatever you can to lessen the impact it has on them. Telling your children that you are getting a divorce and trying to help them through it is no doubt one of the toughest things you will have to do in your life. The most vulnerable time for children will be in the initial separation. This also happens to be the most vulnerable time for the parents as well.
The Law Offices of Loomis and Greene, your family law practice in Loveland, offers tips for helping your children through a divorce.
Smile at All of the Right Times
When your child goes off to be with the other parent, smile. When your child wants to go hang out with friends, smile. Parents have a tendency of unconsciously making their kids feel guilty about leaving. Kids pick up on this and start to feel guilty staying with one parent or the other. Let your children know it is perfectly fine for them to spend time with the other parent, friends or other people in general.
Even if no words are exchanged, kids can sense if there is tension between mom and dad. Studies show that many parents avoid visiting their children because the exchange is often quite the ordeal. Some parents feel it is better to not pick up the kids because there will be harsh words and yelling.
Make the transitions as quiet and drama-free as possible, it is what is best for the kids.
Keep the Same Routines
The more you can keep daily or weekly routines the same, the better off the kids will be. Old routines will help give your children a sense of calm and order. Visits with other family members, school dropoffs and pickups and bedtimes should all remain as normal as possible.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is important during a divorce. If you take care of yourself and minimize the stress in your life, it will help you stay focused and do what you need to ensure your children feel safe and loved.
Break the News Together
Ideally, both parents should be there for the initial conversation with the kids about the divorce. Make sure to make the points that the children will always be loved, they will be important parts of both parents lives and the divorce was the decision of the parents and had nothing to do with the kids.
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Many parents do this with only the best of intentions. But never tell a child they will see both parents just as much as they always have knowing this will not likely be the case. It is okay to tell the kids that there will be changes and there is the chance you will see one parent less often than the other.