Few things weigh more heavily on the minds of divorcing parents than how their children will be affected by the split. While no two families are exactly the same, and everyone experiences divorce in their own way, there are a few general principles to keep in mind that may help ease the transition for your kids.
Children often fear that divorce means the end of their relationship with one parent or the other, so it is important to let them know that both you and the other parent will still be involved in their lives.
This is important not just after the divorce, but also during it, when children are likely to be feeling anxious — and in many cases overlooked. Although it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own emotions and worries during this difficult time, remember to set some time aside to tune in to your kids and how they are feeling.
Just as it is important for kids to know that both of their parents will still be there for them after the divorce, they also need to know that it is still ok for them to love both of their parents even though your feelings for one another may have changed. Children are often very sensitive to conflict and tension between their parents, which can result in feelings of guilt and confusion for them.
On a related note, it can also be extremely stressful for children to feel that they are stuck in the middle between parents who are not getting along, especially during and after divorce. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude when you talk about your children’s other parent in their presence and never put your kids in the middle by asking them to choose sides or act as an intermediary.
Source: Huffington Post, “A Letter From a Child of Divorce,” Honoree Corder, June 30, 2014