Are you and your partner thinking about separating? When kids are involved, the decision to divorce can be very challenging. No matter the age of your children, there are a few things you can do to make the divorce process a bit easier.
As time passes, families grow and change. Sometimes families grow together; other times, they grow apart. If you and your partner have considered your futures and decided that it would be best to continue your lives separately, it’s important to understand that your kids will be affected. No matter how close you are with your children, it’s impossible to get divorced without their being affected on some level. Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, it’s vital that you and your partner present a united front and help your kids through this time. Here’s what you need to know.
1. They need you to talk with them.
Some parents dread talking with their kids about divorce. They’re worried that the divorce will negatively impact their kids, so they’d rather say nothing than say something that might upset their children. Unfortunately, avoidance isn’t the way to go when you’re separating from your partner. It is a good idea to consult with a child counselor to select the best way to talk to your children. Make sure the two of you talk with your kids about your family’s changes. Let your kids know what they can expect so they aren’t blindsided. It’s also important that you listen to what your kids have to say, as well. This can help you move forward together as a family.
2. They need to feel safe.
When you and your partner separate, your kids may feel worried, confused, or anxious. They might feel upset. They might not fully understand what emotions they’re facing. It’s very important that you focus on helping your kids to feel safe during this time. Listen to what they tell you about their feelings. This will help you better understand what needs your kids have. For example, maybe your kids are scared they’ll have to move to a new city. They might worry that they won’t get to see one parent anymore. Maybe your kids are concerned that they’ll have to go to a new school. By listening to your kids, you can focus on finding ways to encourage them and help them feel safe during this time.
3. They need to know you aren’t going anywhere.
When parents divorce, it’s common for children to be afraid that their parents will stop loving them. Address this issue right away by reminding your kids that you aren’t going anywhere. Focus on moving forward as a family, rather than on separating yourself from your partner and kids. Even if you and your partner are divorced, your kids can still come first. Remind your children that both you and your partner love them. Terminating your spousal relationship doesn’t mean you and your partner don’t love your kids, so make sure that you remind your children of this. Let them know that both you and your partner will continue to be a part of their lives even after the divorce is over.
In preparing for this event, a family lawyer may help you. Call for a consultation and to find out how you can move forward with life.