Each year, thousands of children experience the stress and grief that comes with divorce. As a parent, it is important to know how to help your child through this difficult time. While the way they handle this kind of news will vary greatly on their age as well as their personality, maturity, and temperament, we want to offer some tips for handling divorce in the best way possible regardless of those factors.
If you have any further questions or are in need of a divorce lawyer to assist with making this transition easier on your family, give us a call at the Law Office of Diron Rutty in the Bronx today.
Breaking the News
When it comes to breaking this kind of news to your child, you will want to go about it in a kind, calm, and respectful way. Although there is no easy way to do this, it is very important to leave any feelings of anger, blame, or guilt out of this conversation. Be sure to practice how you are going to tell your kids so that you are better able to manage any feelings of anger or sadness during the actual talk.
You will also want to provide your children with enough information in order for them to prepare for the upcoming changes they will experience, and try to answer any questions as calmly and truthfully as possible.
Remind your kids just how much the both of you love them, and keep in mind that they don’t need to know all of the details as to why you are getting a divorce. Something as simple as “Mom and dad are going to live in different houses so they don’t fight as much,” is enough information most children need to hear.
Helping Children Cope
If you have a child who is very upset about the news, be sure to let them know that you recognize that they are upset, care about their feelings, and that their feelings are perfectly okay and normal to feel. Not all children react the same, so be sure to give them space if needed and let them know that you are there to talk when they are ready. Just be sure to keep an eye out for stress showing in other ways, such as lower grades in school, distancing from friends and hobbies, changes in appetite, or changes in behavior or sleep patterns.
You will also want to be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Who will I live with?
- Did I do something wrong?
- Where will I move?
- Where will I spend my holidays?
- Where will I go to school?
- Will I still get to see my friends?
- Will I get to see both of you?
While being open and honest about these things is not always easy, telling them what they need to know is always the right thing to do and will make their lives easier in the long run. Some other ways to help kids cope with divorce are to encourage honesty, talk with them whenever they need, always offer them support, legitimize their feelings, ensure privacy when discussing the details of the divorce with friends, family, or your family lawyer, keep yourself healthy, and get help when needed. You will also want to make sure that you work with a family lawyer who will make the process as smooth and efficient as possible for you and your family. If you are looking for a family lawyer in the Bronx area, be sure to contact the Law Office of Diron Rutty for a consultation.