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8 Ways to Help Your Child Deal with Your Divorce ...

By Aprille

Divorce is never easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult on the children. There are many ways for you to help your child deal with the situation and understand better why it occurred. Too many kids feel that a divorce is their fault. 8 Ways to help your child deal with your divorce are listed below. I hope you will find at least some of these ways useful. No child should grow up feeling like they were the cause for a divorce.

8 Get outside Help if Necessary

Get outside Help if NecessaryPhoto Credit: h.koppdelaney

Sometimes it can be too much for you to handle on your own. There’s nothing wrong with getting outside help. Enlisting the assistance of a professional counselor to work with you on helping your child understand why the divorce is occurring doesn’t make you a bad parent. Professionals who deal with these situations on a regular basis have certain techniques to help kids express what they are feeling and can answer a lot of questions in a tactful manner.

7 Keep Routines Intact

Keep Routines IntactPhoto Credit: artenasuavida

It’s best to try and continue life as normal, no matter what is going on. Maintaining a routine will help your child feel more at ease. It will also help you to keep more focused as well. There’s nothing more frustrating then having a divorce to take care of and to have daily life seem to go down the crapper as well. There needs to be some form of stability going on in the household, for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

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6 Don’t Criticize the Other Parent

Don’t Criticize the Other ParentPhoto Credit: idealfamilylaw

No matter how much you want to say negative things about the other parent, keep these thoughts to yourself. If you want to vent to a best friend or relative later on, then go ahead and do so. Make sure your child isn’t within earshot. Better yet, don’t say anything when your child is even in the same house. Head to a friend’s house and vent all you want, but remain positive and polite in front of your child. Kids are very easy to sway into a negative perception of someone, just by speaking negatively about another person. You don’t want your child to harbor bad feelings about the other parent just because you do.

5 Let Your Child Be a Kid

Let Your Child Be a KidPhoto Credit: Polokampo

Even if your child seems more mature than others, don’t use him/her as a confidant. You have peers who are able to listen to how you feel and can offer advice. When you drag your child into the situation, it often makes him/her feel like a side needs to be chosen. Make your child ‘Switzerland’, completely neutral. Kids need to be able to play and be carefree, not become a sounding board for a parent who is going through a divorce.

4 Explain Why You Are Divorcing, but Make It Age Appropriate

Explain Why You Are Divorcing, but Make It Age AppropriatePhoto Credit: Miss Minie

You need to have some finesse when telling kids that a divorce is about to occur. No matter how much you want to blurt out that you can’t stand to be around the other parent and that is why you two are getting a divorce. Most kids have the idea that parents are together because they love one another and they should always be this way. It’s very difficult for a small child to understand why one parent would ever want to leave the other. Kids feel that if they love their parents to pieces that both parents feel the same way about each other. Try to explain a divorce in such a way that your child understands what is going on. Use simple terms and ideas and don’t try rambling on with some complicated description. Get to the point, but don’t be overly blunt.

3 Provide Reassurance

Provide ReassurancePhoto Credit: Polly Anne

Reassure your children that the family will still be a family, even though everyone isn’t going to be living under the same roof. Of course, there are some situations where this may be difficult, such as if one parent is moving out of state. It’s often hard for kids to comprehend how a family can still be close when one parent is thousands of miles away. Offer the example of grandparents or aunts and uncles. These individuals are family members how don’t live with you, but you still love and care about them. This might help with their dilemma of an absent parental figure.

2 Don’t Argue in Front of Your Child or when They Are within Listening Range

Don’t Argue in Front of Your Child or when They Are within Listening RangePhoto Credit: Shaun Barrows

Some couples can’t help but argue on a regular basis. Try to maintain composure and keep the hostility out of family time. Even if the arguing isn’t directed at kids, they still feel that they are a part of it. Some even feel they are the cause for the anger and arguing. There is a lot of stress and negativity brought about with arguing, on all sides.

1 Be a Good Listener

Be a Good ListenerPhoto Credit: ♪ §hel ♫

You should be able to listen to your child’s concerns about the divorce and offer answers to questions he/she has. Sometimes kids just need someone to listen to how they feel. They may not be looking for answers, but instead they need someone to reassure them that their feelings are normal. Let your child talk and voice what they are going through. Children need to know that they are having perfectly normal feelings and that the divorce isn’t their fault.

These 8 Ways to help your child deal with your divorce are just my list. If you’ve come up with your own list or some helpful additions to this one, then please share them. There are many people who are dealing with divorce and don’t know how to help their children understand why it is happening. Have you recently gone through a divorce? How did you explain to your children what was going on?

Top Photo Credit: jcoterhals

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