How to Help Your Child to Cope During a Divorce
Separation can be difficult and stressful for every family member. Sometimes, parents can forget about the impact of divorce proceedings on their children. While it can be easy to get caught up in a battle with the other parent about when and where you or they are allowed to see the child, it is important that you try to focus on what is best for the child, even if this means you see slightly less of them. A child will often not notice if they spend a little less time with one parent but they will notice any anger and tension between their parents. Below are three things you can do to make separation easier on your child.
Introduce changes gradually
At the point of separation, you child will have to cope with sudden and significant changes to its life and get used to the idea of spending time with each of its parents separately. You should do as much as you can to keep your child's day-to-day life routine as regular as possible, ensuring that they continue to attend school and take part in any extracurricular activities such as sports or after school clubs. You should also ensure that they continue to see their friends and extended family as they normally would. If you have met a new partner or are planning to move to a new area, you should introduce these changes slowly so that your child has time to adjust.
Work with your ex
Although you may want nothing to do with your ex-partner, you should keep communicating with them about how you can both help to make the separation easier on your child. This will ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to looking after your child and will help to prevent misunderstandings and arguments between you and your ex. It will also help to stop your child being confused by conflicting information.
Communicate openly with your child
No matter how understanding you try to be when communicating with your ex, in the heat of the moment, it is easy for your child to see and experience the conflict between you. It is important that you communicate openly with your child and remind them that they are not to blame for the separation. You should avoid bad-mouthing the other parent in front of your child and avoid putting them in situations where they feel they need to choose a side.
If you are going through a separation and you are worried about its impact on your child's emotional health, contact a counsellor today.