Divorce is incredibly tough, but the people who are divorcing aren’t the only ones affected. Divorce affects your whole family. Your children will probably be very confused, and it’s up to you to help them figure it all out.
Explain What is Going On
Make sure your child knows that what is happening is not in any way because of them. Sometimes, children will start to think the split is somehow because of something they said or did. It is important to make sure that, from the beginning, your child knows that it was a decision that was made by the grown-ups. Let your child know that it is perfectly fine to come to you with absolutely any questions they might have. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. Also, reassure them that you are there for anything they might be feeling or might want to talk about. Your child is probably going to go through a lot of emotions in trying to cope with the divorce. Positive or negative, no feeling is wrong. Thoroughly explain the visitation schedule to your child. They need to know who they will be with and when. Children do much better when they know exactly what to expect. You, as a parent, need to remember that your child may take some time to come to terms with the new arrangements.
Do What’s Right for Your Child
If you and your former partner are disagreeing about something, it is very important that you don’t argue in front of your child. It creates a tense atmosphere that can scare a child and confuse them even further. Decide on a set of rules and consequences that is consistent no matter which parent they are with. Knowing the rules right from the get-go will help your child know what to expect, which will go a long way toward helping them cope with the new situation. Divorce can be a very confusing time for a child. Make sure that through it all, you’re constantly reminding your child how much you love them. Also remind them that no matter how crazy everything feels, you’re never too busy to listen if they ever need to talk. If you do start seeing someone else, avoid introducing them to your child until you’re positive that person is going to stay in your life, and make sure that your former partner does the same. It is also highly important that you don’t try to out-do your child’s other parent. Neither one of your is “better” than the other. You are both adults and you are both your child’s parent, so it is important that you set a good example for your child. Divorce is not a competition; your child is not a prize to be “won”.
Seek Therapy and Counseling Services Through The Family Service Foundation, Inc.
If your child is struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue and looking for someone to help you move forward, contact a professional at Family Service Foundation, Inc. We offer outpatient mental health clinic services from trained staff who are passionate about helping all of their clients. We are committed to encouraging growth, changing lives, and enriching the community around us. If you are looking for help, give us a call at (301) 459-2121 or visit us online. For more tips on getting over grief, follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.