Divorce: The right way to help your children cope

by | Mar 30, 2021

There are moments in life that we all hope we will never go through. Some are inevitable, some are avoidable, and some can be made easier with the right advice.

Divorce is a body blow and one of the most emotional times of one’s life for anyone that goes through the dreaded experience. Naturally, for the couple involved, the rollercoaster of emotions can be hard to deal with and emotionally crippling.

The situation is even worse when kids are involved. This represents a pivotal moment in their life for a young child or teenager. How it is dealt with is paramount to their future trajectory as part of the growing up process. The positive news is that it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. With the right advice and the right parenting plan, not only can your child still live a happy life, but for yourself as a parent, you can too.

The situation is even worse when kids are involved. This represents a pivotal moment in their life for a young child or teenager. How it is dealt with is paramount to their future trajectory as part of the growing up process. The positive news is that it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. With the right advice and the right parenting plan, not only can your child still live a happy life, but for yourself as a parent, you can too.

Let your kids know the right way

It’s important to be open, honest, and calm. Ideally, you want to tell them the news together, in a calm and supportive way. Don’t tell them at the last minute right before you or your partner leaves the house.
Don’t over-complicate the situation by going into all the gruesome details as to why it happened. Focus on their life and how you both will do anything for them, that you still love them wholeheartedly. Hold back from airing any grievances you have with your partner, this can wait until you are in private. Simply tell them that sometimes adults go in different directions in life and cannot be with each other anymore. Saying the right things early will go a long way in helping your children cope with the divorce. Most importantly, reassure them that it is in no way their fault. They could not change the situation and anything they did had no bearing on the outcome. Tell them Mom and Dad will be happier, and now they get two safe and loving homes to spend time in. Emphasize that you will always be their parents first.

Did you know?  In the USA, 60 percent of all divorces involve individuals aged 25 to 39

Make a Custody plan

The most crucial part of helping kids cope with a divorce is having a solid custody plan. Working out what is fair and reasonable will minimize any negative effects in the coming months and years. Having an organized and clear schedule cannot be emphasized enough. We highly recommend the help of a co-parenting app. The knock-on effect of a poorly handled schedule compounding an already emotional time can create serious issues for a child. This can not only have an immediate impact on their psychological and physical health but may linger on to adulthood.

A study across the border at Toronto University found that men who were children of divorce were three times more likely to harbor serious thoughts of suicide than those that were not.

Divorced couple and child

Did you know?  In the USA, 60 percent of all divorces involve individuals aged 25 to 39

Important tips to help children cope going forward

  • Stick to the daily routines: This could be anything from mealtime, bedtime to going to the park. There is already enough disruption; dramatically changing their routine will only deepen the impact.
  • Look after your health: Don’t let yourself fall apart in front of them. Stay fit, eat right. Kids notice more than you think. They see their parents as a safety blanket, someone they rely on. If you can’t look after yourself, the knockdown effect is inevitable.
  • Spoiling them does more harm than good: Don’t throw your money around in an attempt to win them over. This is not sustainable and will create further problems down the line. The intentions might be good, but solid parenting should never resort to bribes. Give your love and save the gifts for when appropriate.
  • Be ready to answer questions: This will be a little different depending on their age, but when a question like “Where’s Mommy?” or “Where’s Daddy?” comes along, be ready to answer.
  • Don’t play the blame game: Never under any circumstances talk disparagingly about your ex-partner. It serves no one but yourself. Not only is it unfair, but it is completely counterproductive.
  • Be realistic: Be careful what you promise; if you can’t deliver, it will be worse in the long run. The reality is that your kids will more than likely see less of at least one of the parents, so don’t promise they will see both exactly the same as before. This is true for any promises; if you break them, only resentment will follow.

Make the right Decisions

There are no hard and fast rules for dealing with a divorce, but the important negative aspects can be dealt with in a manner as to soften the impact as much as possible. Getting professional advice and help where possible is highly recommended to avoid the pitfalls others may have succumbed to. Get the right lawyer of course, but get the right custody schedule too. Anything that can help yourself and, most importantly, your kids should be embraced without question. Making the right decisions will change yours and your children’s life.

What are the benefits of legal separation vs divorce

Find out whether separation is better for you, maybe it can mend your broken marriage. Watch the Youtube clip below for more information.