Attentive Legal Problem-Solving For Your Alaska Family

5 pointers on helping your child cope with divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | DIVORCE - Divorce |

Divorce can be a challenging experience for everyone involved, especially children. They may feel confused, scared or even angry. As a parent, it’s natural to want to shield them from pain, but open communication and a focus on their well-being can help them adjust to the new normal.

Here are five key strategies to support your child during this challenging time:

1. Open and honest communication is key

Provide age-appropriate explanations to your children. Younger children might need simple reassurance that they are loved and safe, while older children can manage more detailed information about the reasons behind the divorce. While acknowledging changes, emphasize that both parents will still love and care for them. Additionally, create a safe space for them to ask about the situation. Let your child know they can come to you with any questions or worries they have.

2. Maintain stability and routines

Minimize disruptions and maintain familiar routines like bedtime rituals, mealtimes, and school activities as much as possible. Consistency helps children feel secure in a time of change. You can also develop new traditions, like a special movie night or weekend activity. This helps establish a sense of normalcy in both households.

3. Support emotional expression

Acknowledge your children’s feelings. Let your child know that all their emotions, whether sadness, anger or confusion are valid. Avoid minimizing their feelings or dismissing their concerns. When they express themselves, listen attentively without judgment. Offer comfort and reassurance. You can also help your child find healthy ways to express their emotions. This could include creative outlets like art or music, physical activity or journaling.

4. Maintain a positive relationship with the other parent

Avoid badmouthing and refrain from speaking negatively about your co-parent in front of your child. This can put them in a difficult position and damage their relationship with the other parent. Work with your co-parent to ensure consistent parenting styles and expectations in both homes. Finally, respect co-parenting decisions. Avoid undermining your co-parent’s decisions or scheduling conflicts. Focus on open communication for the sake of your child.

5. Seek additional support

If your child is struggling to cope, consider seeking professional help from a child therapist. They can suggest tools and strategies to manage your children’s emotions and navigate the changes. Support groups can also offer valuable resources and connect your child with others going through similar experiences.

Divorce is a process and healing takes time. By prioritizing open communication, maintaining stability, and supporting your child’s emotional well-being, you can help them adjust to the changes.