You can’t completely protect your child from the fallout of your divorce. However, you can minimize the effects. By concentrating on your emotional awareness, you can help your children develop theirs — and weather the tides of the divorce a little easier.
Here are some tips for handling the emotional reaction from your children after a divorce:
1. Recognize that it’s normal for a child to feel confused, sad, angry, sad or frustrated after their parents divorce.
After all, the child has no real control over the situation and yet their life is in upheaval. You can often help your child get through this phase by:
- Making sure you’re conscious of what behavior you model. Focus on the positives of your situation when you’re talking to your child.
- Encouraging your child to talk about their feelings. Make sure that your child feels free to express anything they’re thinking to you — even if it isn’t pleasant to hear.
- Offering steady guidance. Don’t let guilt over your divorce push you into accepting behaviors that you wouldn’t have before the divorce. Right now, your child needs consistency.
Focus on making sure that your child doesn’t allow negative thought patterns or actions to become a habit.
2. Reassure your child that nothing they did or said could have changed the situation.
Many children will blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Some children will feel like they caused a parent to leave somehow. Others may be convinced that they could have done something to keep their parents together.
3. Convey respect toward your ex-spouse when you’re around your children.
It doesn’t matter what you think of your ex-spouse. Your children probably still care very deeply about their other parent — which can make it painful and upsetting to hear one parent saying negative things about the other.
If your ex is frustrating you, learn to keep your disputes out of your children’s range of hearing.
If you have questions about a custody situation, find out more about your rights today.