Divorce is often the right choice for Vermont couples when it becomes clear the marriage is no longer working. However, even the most amicable divorces affect the children involved.
Children of divorce experience a wide range of emotions, ranging from guilt or shame to anger and confusion. It is common for children to believe the divorce is their fault or feel that they could have done something to help their parents stay together.
There are many things you can do to reduce the negative impact of a divorce on your children.
Let your children talk, but do not force them to
Give them plenty of attention and listen if they want to talk. You are likely going to be overwhelmed with the divorce process and the end of your marriage. It can be easy to neglect your children’s feelings while you are processing your own, but remember to make time for them.
At the same time, do not neglect yourself either. Engage in healthy coping techniques, such as writing, talking with a trusted friend or family member or joining a support group. Take care of yourself physically, as well.
Provide comfort and reassurance
Some of the most important things your children should know is that you are still there for them even though some aspects of life are going to change. Tell them their feelings are natural, but that everything will be okay, and they are still loved.
Although you may have many negative emotions toward your spouse, do not take them out on your children, and do not “punish” your spouse by damaging their relationship with the children.
Learn how to co-parent
The reality is that even if you are divorced, you and your spouse are going to have to co-parent your children, at least until they are all adults. Learn how to communicate in a healthy manner and discuss how co-parenting is going to work.
If you are considering divorce this year, these tips can help make the process easier on your children. Your divorce attorney can handle the details of your divorce and advocate for you, so your emotions do not spill over into your relationship with your children.