A divorce does not just impact the two adults in a relationship. If you have children, they feel the impact as well. Helping your children adjust to the idea of the divorce and then the major life changes that follow is a huge part of the transition process for many couples. Here are some tips for helping your kids adjust to your divorce:
- Be honest: Your children know you and your spouse well, so trying to hide things and tell them things that are simply not true are going to make them feel unsure and vulnerable. Be honest about what is happening, what it means for them and that you will love them the same no matter what. Honesty and reassurance can help your children adjust and take cues from you that they will be OK.
- Help them understand their feelings: Anger, sadness, uncertainty and fear are just some of the feelings that children might have about their parent’s divorce. Try to talk to your kids about their feelings and let them know that their feelings are normal and that you are there to help them process them.
- Offer them unconditional support: You love your kids more than anything and helping them adjust to this big change in their life is really important to you. Be open about your feelings about your kids. Tell them you love them. Make plans for what you will do when you see them next and make plans for communicating with each parent when the kids are with the other parent. Let your kids have some say in developing a schedule if that is feasible for your family.
- Resist temptation to say negative things to your kids about your ex: This is probably the most obvious piece of advice but saying negative things about your ex—no matter how true—will not help your kids adjust to the divorce.
- Get the support that you need: Connect your kids with a support network. This can be friends, family, teachers, a therapist, spiritual leaders, etc. Make sure that your kids have safe and trusted people in their lives who they can talk to during this time.
Divorce Mediation Services in Minnesota
Johnson Mediation can help your family navigate the divorce process from start to finish. We offer divorce mediation services, divorce coaching as well as parenting support services that can help make this process easier and less stressful for you and your kids. For more information, call us at 952-401-7599.