How to Help Your Children Get Through a Difficult Divorce
Watching a loved one go through a divorce is extremely sad, but seeing your children have their parents get divorced is nothing short of heart-wrenching. Since marriage and family is such an intimate, personal part of people’s lives, it can be earth-shattering when it falls apart. As a parent, it can be so hard to know how to help your children as they are experiencing all of the heartache and worry that comes with a divorce. Although every divorce is different and has its own problems and nuances, here are a couple of things that you can do to help your children get through a difficult divorce.
Don’t Make It Harder Than It Needs to Be
First off, it is important to try and understand what your child is going through. They’ve just had a huge blow not only to their mental and emotional health, but are also being pulled to side with one parent or the other. So, it is your responsibility to make sure that you’re not making things harder on them. Be supportive of what they are feeling, and try to encourage a good relationship with both parents, if possible. Try to be flexible and understanding when they come to you for help. Don’t question or protest against their feelings or actions unless you truly feel that they’re thinking irrationally in the heat of the moment. Don’t bring up or focus on aspects of the divorce that will be painful for them to be reminded of. Just try to help them where needed and encourage them to move forward and heal.
Consider if Therapy is Right
Next, you need to help your child to consider going to therapy if it is right for their situation and health. Divorces are mentally and emotionally taxing and scarring. Family law cases are potentially traumatic for those involved, children in particular. After you have gone through a divorce, your children likely have a lot of emotional baggage and issues that they will need to sort through in order to find peace and happiness again. If they are in a position where they could counsel with a therapist and find healing, try and help them to do so.
Respect Their Privacy
Third, and perhaps most importantly, it is important that you respect their privacy as they are going through this difficult time. Lots of people are going to speculate about the cause of the divorce, and they might even ask your children about it. Having personal issues become public knowledge can make the divorce that much more painful for your child. Try to respect the privacy of their feelings, and also remind them that they don’t have to share these feelings or experiences with people unless they want to.
So, as you’re experiencing a divorce, don’t get so caught up in all of the issues that you need to sort through that you forget what your children are seeing and feeling. A divorce can seriously affect your child emotionally and mentally and can have repercussions even through their adult years. If you are doing your best to make it easier on them, help them to therapy if it is right for them, and respect their privacy, your children will be able to more easily process this difficult time.
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