Divorce is oftentimes an emotional experience. Untangling your life from the one you’ve built with your spouse can be difficult to say the least, riddling you with anger, anxiety, fear, and depression. But as hard as divorce can be for you, it can be earth-shattering for your children.
Over the years, your marriage has provided your children with a sense of stability and normalcy. All of that can feel threatened, though, when you go through a marriage dissolution. This is especially true when there’s fighting between parents, emotional turmoil amongst the parents, less parental focus on the children, changes in family economics, and when a new love interest is brought into the picture.
If you don’t act to protect your children from the impact of your divorce, then you could see issues such as poor school performance, behavioral issues, and catastrophic damage to your relationship with them. So, now is the time to act to preserve their emotional and psychological well-being.
Tips for protecting your children from the divorce process
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to protect your child. This includes the following:
- Not using your child as a messenger: Children are often caught in the middle of their parents, especially when the parents use the child to communicate with each other. This thrusts the child into the middle of divorce issues, which is overwhelmingly stressful for children. There are more effective means of communication that you should use.
- Preserve routine as much as possible: Your child is going to experience substantial changes, and it can be hard for them to adapt given the emotional challenges involved. You can dampen the impact, though, by keeping as much of their old routine intact as possible. This will give your children some sense of stability at a time that may otherwise feel chaotic for them.
- Talk to your children: You shouldn’t let your children navigate their emotions on their own when you’re going through a divorce. So, check in with them regularly and encourage open lines of communication. Be open and honest with your children, too, so that they feel comfortable coming to you when they’re struggling to cope.
- Work on co-parenting: Exposure to conflict can be challenging for your children. You might be able to reduce the conflict they face if you and the other parent can work on effective co-parenting strategies. This may include modifying communication styles and refocusing conversations on your children’s best interests.
- Encourage time spent with the other parent: Even though you might be angry at the other parent, they are an integral part of your children’s lives. So, as long as there aren’t safety issues, you should encourage your children to spend meaningful time with the other parent. This will help in their development and ease them into their newfound lives post-divorce.
Know how to navigate your divorce
These are just some ideas to keep your children emotionally safe during divorce. But to protect them as much as possible, you need to have a plan going into the marriage dissolution process. Therefore, if you’re headed toward marriage dissolution, then you need to carefully think through the evidence at hand and the best way to utilize it to your advantage.
That can sound stressful given everything that you’re dealing with, but you can take the guesswork out of your case by educating yourself as much as possible and securing any support that you might need.