Divorce is devastating for many families, especially for any children in those families. In fact, about half of kids in North America will see their parents split up as well as witness the dissolution of their parent’s second marriage.
Because kids have limited control over their lives, couples need to assist children with this difficult time in the best ways possible. If you and your spouse are about to divorce, here are some tips to help kids cope.
Gather your children and inform them of your divorce as soon as possible
As tough as it is, it is best to tell your kids about your divorce right after discussing it with your spouse. Waiting until the last minute would likely devastate them since it’s coming out of the blue, and they have little time to prepare for such shocking news.
Schedule a time and a place to talk about it, and be open to answering any questions your children may have.
Don’t force your kids to pick sides
Regardless of the issues between you and your spouse, don’t put kids in the middle of your disputes. Children shouldn’t handle adult problems, and many don’t want to see their parents in a “good guy/bad guy” dichotomy. Take up any disagreements you have with a divorce counselor.
If possible, begin co-parenting to aid kids in maintaining a bond with your spouse
Being divorced does not mean your children can’t spend equal time with their parents. Co-parenting allows you and your spouse to stay on good terms while letting your children have access to both parents. This set-up also models healthy behaviors kids can apply to their relationships when they’re older.
If you and your spouse need assistance preparing for divorce, consider seeking experienced legal counsel.