Divorce is never easy. However, it is often inevitable, which leaves you with no other option but to find the best way to deal with it. In addition, divorce can be even more challenging if the kids are involved. Trying to find the best way to tell the children that you and your partner are separating is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially if they’re still young and don’t know anything about the world. If your marriage is ending, and you want to know how to protect your kids during these challenging times, here are some tips that will help you and your children cope with emotional stress.
Avoid fighting in front of the kids
The decision to divorce doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months or even years for people to figure out they’re no longer good for each other. In the meantime, couples often argue, even in front of the children, which can do more harm than good. Yelling or cursing when the children are around can trigger an emotional response in your kids and urge them to retrieve and become emotionally distant.
Therefore, if you and your soon-to-be former spouse have to resolve some conflicts, be sure to do that when the children are asleep. Of course, if you have time, talk about your marital issues when your kids are at school.
If you do argue, try to explain the situation
If your children hear you and your spouse arguing, it’s essential to address the issues. Children may not understand the cause, so choose your words carefully. For example, you can explain that you were arguing with your spouse because you were trying to solve a problem. More importantly, it’s essential to remind your children that you still love them and that they’re not at fault for your unhappy marriage.
Reduce your stress
Every divorce is stressful. You will feel scared, exhausted, and angry, which is why it’s crucial to find ways to channel your emotions. If you’re mad and frustrated at all times, you might find the need to channel these emotions into arguments. Of course, this is entirely normal, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t argue in front of the kids.
One of the best things you can do in these challenging times is to find new ways to reduce stress. For example, you can go to the gym or go out for a walk when you’re feeling overwhelmed. These methods will help you cope with separation and divorce better, but they will also help your children. By reducing your stress levels, you will manage to provide a better environment and support for your children, as you will feel stronger and more capable of taking good care of them.
Tell the news together, as a family
You and your partner must tell the news together as a family. This will most likely be an easy discussion if you have one child only. However, if you have children, don’t talk to them separately. Telling only the oldest child the news will create a burden only a few can handle. So, talk to your spouse and determine when is the best time to tell the children about your divorce.
One of the best moments to tell them is when you’re eating dinner or sitting in the living room together. Share as many details as possible, and don’t be afraid to answer all their questions. More importantly, don’t be passive-aggressive during these discussions. If, for example, you didn’t want to file a divorce, it would still be better to tell your children that you and your spouse agreed to live separately and end your marriage. In addition, tell them if they’ll have to switch schools and that they’ll spend quality time with both parents.
Try and be the rock they need
During and after the divorce, be sure to provide comfort. Your children might have to live in a different house or move to a new city in some rare cases. Moreover, they will see you or your partner less than before, which can cause more anxiety and stress. But, even if your kids are going through changes, you can still try and be the rock they need during these stressful times.
So, encourage them to talk about their feelings and allow them to express their negative emotions. In addition, it would be best to establish a similar routine. For example, if you always take your kids to school, but they don’t live with you anymore, talk to your former spouse and try to stick to that routine if possible.
Be thoughtful about your new homes
Your divorce may be painful, but you have to think of the children first. Even if you probably don’t want to be near your former spouse, be thoughtful about your new homes and consider staying as close as possible. You will have to maintain appropriate boundaries, but this agreement will allow children to spend quality time with both parents.
On top of that, children won’t feel disconnected or anxious if they get the opportunity to spend more time with the other parent. So figure out what works best for you and set boundaries before moving into a new home.
Secure your children’s future
When getting a divorce, you will have to talk about child support, visitation, and custody. This process can last for ages if you and your soon-to-be former spouse can’t agree. That’s why it’s essential to have experienced family lawyers on your side. They can help you find the best approach to this situation and make the divorce less painful. In addition, a family lawyer will help you go through this procedure faster, allowing you to start a new chapter in your life as soon as possible.
If you and your partner signed a prenup before getting married, this process would be a lot easier. However, it’s still advisable to hire someone who can help you break legal agreements.
Don’t punish your former spouse at your kids’ expense
Kids are more likely to cope better with this stress and anxiety if they have access to both parents. But, as it usually goes, many parents try to persuade the judge at trial that the other party isn’t a good parent and that children shouldn’t see them. Before you make any irrational decisions, keep in mind that you’d try to find a way to work things out if you were still married to them.
So, don’t punish your former spouse at your kid’s expense. Instead, ensure that everything is fair and that they can see the kids at least once a week. More importantly, you should talk to your former spouse about this and decide when the kids will stay at their place. That will allow children to stick to their routine and grow with both parents by their side.
Of course, in rare cases, some parents don’t want to be a part of their children’s lives anymore. If that happens to you, ask for support and find a way to give your children all the love in the world. However, it would help if you prepared them for the truth, as they need to know that the other parent doesn’t want to be around.
Trying to cope with your emotions and taking good care of your kids at the same time can be challenging. However, these times will pass, and you will eventually feel better. However, children aren’t good at processing emotions, which is why you and your former spouse need to make an agreement and provide the necessary support. So, now that you know how to protect your children when your marriage is ending, it’s essential to follow these tips and find new ways to cope.
Author – Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile and her favorite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.