Deciding whether you and your partner should get a divorce is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in life, especially if you have children. Separating two intertwined lives is never simple, and the human cost of a failed marriage can be rough.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to do permanent damage. There are provisions and steps you can take to make sure your children have the right tools to adjust to their new life.
Take a few moments to read through some helpful tips for managing your children during a divorce, and feel more equipped to handle what’s ahead.
Keep your children in the loop
As soon you and your partner decide to split, you need to let the kids in on your decision. Before you get the divorce lawyers involved, discuss things with the children. The way you present the issue to your kids matters.
It should be a joint effort from you and your soon to be ex. Sit the kids down together, and have an amicable discussion about the upcoming changes. Tell the kids that you plan to live apart, and make sure they know that it’s not their fault.
Reassure your kids that you’re still there
It’s important for each of you to separately reassure the children that you will still love them the same going forward. Let your children know that you will still have time together, and you will still be a big part of their lives.
Reassuring the kids that their support system will not be dissolving will help preserve their social and mental stability. Divorce doesn’t have to wreck your kids way of living if you and your partner act like adults.
Avoid talking negatively about your ex
When you are around the kids, it’s important that you and your soon to be ex refrain from talking negatively about one another. There’s no merit in snide remarks or degradation of your ex. It won’t help the kids, and you don’t want your decision to move forward to be one of malice.
Work alongside a therapist
It’s a good idea to get your children in with a therapist to give them an outlet for their feelings. A trained psychologist can help your kids work through their emotions and better understand how to process everything.
Your kids may act out for a while
Prepare yourself for the fallout. Your kids may act out for a while after you and your spouse separate. This is normal.
The change is hard for kids to accept, and they will test boundaries. Have patience, and take the time to try and understand the root of their behavior before simply applying a punishment.