Regardless of the condition of the marriage, divorce can present many challenges for everyone involved. While your children may see the divorce coming, being able to process it can be difficult.
Even as divorce becomes more common, children rely on their parents for all of their needs, not just those that help them live the next day. Often, emotional needs can be tricky to observe and even more challenging to help them navigate.
Here are a few ways to give your child the emotional support they need as your family goes through a divorce.
No ex-bashing here
There may be much conflict you are working through with your spouse; some of it may include your child. However, it is vital to keep in mind that your child will likely still interact with your spouse.
You and your child will have times when you need to talk about the divorce and how your child feels about it. When your child mentions your spouse, try to keep the conversation age-appropriate. Also, it will be helpful if your child has the opportunity to come to their own conclusions about your spouse.
Make time for questions
Often, part of the divorce process means you have more on your plate than you used to. In addition to your regular responsibilities, you may have to spend time on the divorce process and coordinate childcare with your spouse.
It can be easy to brush off your child’s questions for another time, but it is critical to come back to the questions. Consider setting specific times where you and your child can have intentional conversations together during quiet activities like coloring.
As you and your family navigate the process, it will be essential to be considerate and kind with each other. When you can be patient and understanding with your child, they can learn to have the same patience in return.