Parents who are going through a divorce have to do what’s best for their children. This can be challenging, especially when the parents don’t agree on what’s best. One thing that both adults must remember is that the children are going to feel stressed about this major change, so keeping things as calm as possible is beneficial.
Sharing the news of the divorce as a team can help the children know that both parents will be there to support them. After you tell them, they may have some questions. Answer them as honestly as you can in an age-appropriate manner, but be sure you aren’t saying things will happen if there’s a chance they won’t.
Encourage them to talk
Having to deal with major emotions can be frightening for children, especially younger children. Be open with them about emotions so you can help them to work through those. While you may not need to share all of your emotions, you can share some basics so they know what they’re feeling is normal.
Provide opportunities for support
The kids might not want to talk to their parents about how they feel about the divorce. Instead of trying to push them to do this, provide opportunities for them to talk to trusted adults or other children who’ve gone through the same things. Teachers, religious leaders, coaches, and family friends might be trusted adults. There are even support groups for children of divorced parents.
Working as a parenting team to get the parenting plan set as quickly as possible is important. Once this is set, everyone involved knows exactly what to expect. Your children will likely feel more stable and adjust better once things are predictable. Child custody matters sometimes require creativity, so having someone who can help find solutions is beneficial. And if it just isn’t working out for the benefit of the children, perhaps it’s time to consider a child custody modification.