When your kids are struggling to adjust to a divorce, there is nothing more heartbreaking. Younger children, in particular, may have a hard time understanding why their mom or dad no longer want to be together. Some children may believe that it is their fault that their mother or father isn’t with them anymore, or they may worry that they no longer belong.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your child adjust to a divorce. How can you do it? Here are four different things you can do.
1. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart
The first thing you can do is to sit down with your children and have a discussion about how they’re feeling. Young children may have trouble expressing themselves, so you could ask them to draw how they feel or listen carefully to how they try to explain to get an idea of what they may be feeling. It’s your priority to tell them that this is not their fault and that they are loved and welcome in your family.
2. Don’t introduce new partners too quickly
The next thing to remember is that you should not bring new partners into the picture too soon. Your children need time to adjust and understand that they are a priority to you. If you suddenly start going out and dating, aren’t home or bring someone new into their social circle, they may be confused and feel like they’re not as important to you. They may feel like you’re trying to replace their other parent or become angry about a new person bring brought into the family.
3. Be ready to answer questions
The next thing to do is to be ready to answer questions. If one of your child asks if you love them, why you don’t live with your ex-spouse or other concerning questions, be ready with age-appropriate answers. Explain to them that they’re important to you and loved, and explain that sometimes two people are happier when they aren’t together. Children may not understand now, but as they grow, these simple explanations can help.
4. Spend more time together
Finally, spend more time together. One of the best things you can do is to show your child you love them by spending more time together. They’ll see that you are invested in their happiness and may be more willing to open up about their feelings.
These four tips can help you support your children as they adjust to a divorce. It is a difficult situation, but your kids will benefit from having your supportive attention.