Divorce is a major change to deal with, and as stressful as it is for adults, it can be even more difficult for kids who are caught in the middle. While it is important to be mindful of what your kids may be going through, it is more beneficial to seek out solutions than it is to fret about the negative impact the situation might be having. There are several ways you can help kids deal with divorce and its effects.
You may be relieved to learn, too, that Psychology Today reports kids are perfectly capable of being happy and healthy after a divorce. You can facilitate this by proactively taking these three steps towards building a supportive environment.
1. Do not demonize your ex
One of the worst things you can do to your kids following a divorce is demonize their other parent. No matter how contentious the separation was, it is imperative that you keep the details from your children and maintain a neutral or positive disposition when discussing your ex. Doing otherwise puts unnecessary stress and pressure on kids.
2. Encourage communication
It is understandable that kids may have mixed emotions about their parents’ divorce. If you had been fighting regularly, it may be a relief to them to have this stop. If it comes as a surprise, though, it might be a more difficult adjustment. You should encourage your children to voice their feelings and communicate with you freely. Emphasizing this is a great way to help them work through changes.
3. Provide needed support
Some kids handle divorce better than others. How well yours will deal with it depends on a variety of factors. In some cases, you might need to do more than simply listen. When signs of trauma such as acting out or withdrawing become apparent, therapy may be an option. You can reduce the likelihood of trauma and the stress of a divorce by considering options such as mediation.