Your children have to go through a lot of changes. Not only do they deal with this at school and with their friends, but they also have a huge one to go through if you and their other parent divorce. This is a trying time for children, but they are usually adaptable enough to thrive despite the major adjustments they need to make.
As a parent, you might want to keep your children protected. While this is understandable, the time around your divorce is one during which you should work with your children to give them the skills and tools they need to cope with major life changes.
Encourage them to talk
Try to give your children the time they need to talk to you about what they are feeling. They need to do this in a respectful way, but they shouldn’t have to worry about getting into trouble for how they feel. Help them to learn productive ways to let you know what they think and feel. Working with them to ensure that they have appropriate ways to handle their feelings can benefit them now and into the future.
Remind them that they aren’t always responsible
Your children might take responsibility for changes that they aren’t responsible for. This is problematic because it puts too much on them. One example of this is your divorce. Don’t let them think, even for a second, that they caused it. You don’t have to get into the details about why you are going through the divorce, but let them know that it was a decision made solely by adults and that they didn’t have a part in the outcome. When any change comes up, they need to think about what really led up to it. This type of critical thinking can help them throughout life.
Focus on positive aspects of change
There is something positive about almost every change that humans go through. Helping your children to see that silver lining can enable them to learn to think in a positive way, regardless of the circumstance. You may find that you deal with the divorce better by looking at the good things that are coming from the split. Maybe you are enjoying finding new hobbies you couldn’t take up while you were married. Maybe your ex was controlling and you appreciate the freedom. Work with your children to help them decipher the silver linings in change — during the divorce and throughout every life shift. Well-being is a matter of perspective and a shift in perceptions; no one is a powerless victim of circumstance.