A divorce is never an easy process—you don’t have to go through one to know that. But divorce is even more challenging when you have children in the mix.
However, that doesn’t mean your children should feel the brunt of the divorce, and as a mother, you have the power to help them through it. Keep reading to learn how to guide your child through a divorce in a positive manner. Keep your children’s age in mind throughout these suggestions. You know your children better than anyone, so use that motherly intuition to your advantage.
Tell your children as soon as the divorce paperwork is filed
There’s no easy way to tell your children that you and your spouse are getting a divorce. However, it’s better to tell your children in the early stages of the divorce process as opposed to waiting. This especially holds true if your children are older because they’ll know something is going on if their parents are acting unusual. Ideally, both you and your spouse will be present during this conversation, but we understand that that’s not always possible.
Be patient and answer their questions
Depending on your children’s age, they may have different questions and concerns. For instance, if your children are in middle or high school, they’ll have two questions for sure: “Will I still be able to stay at my school?” and “Will I still get to see my friends?” If you’re in the early stages of the divorce, you might not have an answer for them right away, and that’s okay. You should expect a lot more questions from your children, and all we suggest is to be patient and answer them to the best of your ability. Remember, it’s better to acknowledge that you don’t know than to lead them into believing something false.
Lastly, all your children want during a divorce is reassurance and time with their parents. Just because you and your spouse couldn’t make things work between the two of you, that doesn’t mean you can’t make things work with your children. Continue to play games with your child, take them to their sports practices, help them with homework, and so on. If you just spend time with them and reassure them that the separation isn’t their fault, your relationship will only strengthen over time.
Whether you’ve just started thinking about a divorce, or you’re in the early stages, there are some important things to keep in mind for your children. Learning how to guide your child through a divorce is one of the best things you can do for your child at this time. Now you need to prepare for a child custody hearing with your attorney, before proceeding with next steps.