Divorces are hard on everyone involved, but children often suffer the most. Some believe the divorce is their fault, while others become aggressive or uncooperative when faced with changes they don’t want to deal with.
Children are often confused and frightened when parents tell them they’re going to go through a divorce. A child fears the loss of a parent and what those changes could mean. Maybe your child fears moving away or never seeing his mother or father again, or he is confused about why you both don’t love him enough to stay together. These are common concerns, and it’s important to address them.
Here are a few things you can do to make a divorce easier on your child.
1. Talk to your child about the divorce
Keeping a divorce a secret is a bad way to deal with it when you have a child involved. Your child may suspect there is a problem and grow agitated or scared at not knowing what it is. When the divorce inevitably occurs, your child may be confused, hurt and become defiant because he had no say earlier on.
2. Make sure your child knows it’s not his fault
One of the things that bothers children going through a divorce is the thought that they somehow caused it. The truth of the matter is that no child is the cause of a divorce — a breakdown in communication and growing in different directions as adults is. Whether it’s by adultery or simply no longer loving your spouse, the changes that occurred had nothing to do with your child’s presence in your life. You should reaffirm that you both love your child and that his actions did not cause these changes.
3. Don’t bring your problems to the dinner table
It’s never a good idea to talk badly about the other parent to your child, and you certainly should not have fights or negative discussions in his presence if it can be helped. Putting your child in the middle of a disagreement or even allowing him to overhear it causes more stress and anxiety. Try to keep your disagreements private.
These are a few tips to help keep a divorce as easy as possible for your child. With the help of your attorney, you and your spouse can come up with a parenting plan and child custody arrangement that works in your child’s best interests.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001