If you've seen a divorce unfold before your eyes, then you know that it isn't easy for anyone who's involved. When your kids are in their formative years and you decide to part ways with your spouse, they may feel responsible for your divorce and they'll probably have a hard time coming to terms with it.
You need to let yourself heal, but you also need to make sure your kids can adjust to the substantial changes in their lives.
Here are three proven strategies on how to help a child deal with divorce.
1. Break the News to Them Gently, But Don't Sugarcoat It
Once you've figured out that there's no going back and divorce is the only solution, you need to let your kids know about your decision to end your marriage. You have to be straightforward and express your feelings to them as clearly as possible. It's not going to be easy, but you try to make sure that your spouse is also in the same room when you're breaking the news. This news is better broken to them by the both of you.
Instead of badmouthing your partner or playing the blame game, you need to let your kids know that they're loved and you're still the same people as before. Tell them you've tried to make things work and that this is the only way forward. Consider your kids' ages and temperaments before talking to them.
Your child may respond to the news differently, which is why you need to be prepared to handle all kinds of questions and reactions. Reassure them that you're always going to be around and your relationship with them isn't changing.
2. Reassure Them That They're Not Responsible for Your Divorce
Your kids may think that they're responsible for your divorce. If they've heard you fight over them, then that can also make them feel like they were the main source of your distress. You need to have a one-on-one conversation with them and let them know that they had no part to play in your divorce.
They may also think that they could've prevented it if they had been on their best behavior. You need to explain to them a little bit about how marriages work, how feelings may change over time, and that divorce is a completely natural part of life when spouses grow apart.
3. Allow Them to Express Their Feelings
If your kids start showing resentment towards you or begin isolating themselves, you need to get them to express their feelings so they're able to overcome them. Tell them that it's completely normal for them to feel upset or sad in these circumstances. Encourage them to confide in you, pay attention to their words, and don't interrupt them or they won't want to open up to you.
Check-in with them now and then and ask them if they're doing okay. If they feel reluctant to talk to you, then you should consider taking them to a therapist and letting them handle it in the best way. Here at Atlanta Family Law Group, we work with a team of therapists and can provide you with a referral that best suits your family's needs.
When you're learning how to deal with an angry or upset child after divorce, you need all the help you can get. Join a support group or get help from people who've been through this situation to make sure your kids can heal properly.
If you're looking for a family law firm in Atlanta, get in touch with us to book a consultation. At Atlanta Family Law Group, we focus on taking the legal worries off your hands so you can truly focus on healing and taking care of your children. Contact us at (404) 963-9452 to discuss how we may be able to help you in your divorce case.