According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, nearly 40% of marriages end in divorce.
While adults grapple with their own emotions during this period, remember the impact divorce can have on children. Supporting them through a divorce helps ensure they navigate this transition with resilience.
Create a stable environment
Maintain stability for your children during this tumultuous time. Establishing routines and clear expectations can provide a sense of security. Consistency in daily activities, such as mealtimes, bedtime and homework, can help children feel grounded.
Encourage open and honest communication with your children. Make sure they know they can express their feelings and concerns without fear of judgment. Practice active listening and pay attention to their words as well as non-verbal cues and validate their emotions.
Avoid blame games
Refrain from placing blame or involving children in any conflicts between parents. Shield them from adult disagreements and ensure they understand that the divorce is a decision between the adults and is not their fault.
During this period of change, children may experience feelings of insecurity or anxiety. Offer consistent reassurance that you love and care for them, regardless of the changes in the family structure. Physical affection, such as hugs, can provide comfort and a sense of belonging.
Encourage expression through art and play
Children may struggle to articulate their emotions verbally. Providing outlets like drawing, painting or playtime allows them to express themselves in a way that feels safe and natural. It also provides an opportunity for you to gain insights into their feelings.
Maintain healthy boundaries
Avoid overburdening your children with adult concerns or using them as confidantes. They should not feel responsible for fixing the situation.
Seek professional help
Sometimes children benefit from the support of a counselor or therapist who can provide them with tools to cope with their emotions and navigate the challenges of divorce.
Supporting your children through a divorce requires patience, understanding and a commitment to their well-being. Your love and support are the cornerstones upon which they can build a strong foundation for their future.