The divorce rate has been dropping, but many couples and families are still affected by divorce and its aftermath. Almost three out of every thousand marriages in the United States ends in divorce. If you’re one of those three of a thousand couples, you know how difficult the experience can be.
And, if you have children, you’re likely most concerned about their experience. You want to help them cope in the best, most healthy way possible. Read one for our list of 7 uplifting ways that you can help your child coping with divorce.
1. Make Your Love for Your Child Clear
It’s not uncommon for children’s self-esteem to take a hit during their parents’ divorce. They may blame themselves for the divorce, or worry that they won’t have the same care and attention as they did in a two-parent household. Assure your child that you love them and that their happiness and well being is still your top priority.
2. Get Others Involved to Help Support Your Child
Love at home is important for a child coping with divorce, but so is support from other adults they care about. Encourage other close people in your child’s life to show their support through this difficult time. Quality time with grandparents or special check-ins with a teacher can ensure your child feels loved and cared for by everyone they trust and depend on.
3. Continue to Parent as You Did Before the Divorce
For a child, their parents divorcing can have such a large impact that it feels as if their entire life is off track. It’s your job to make sure your child’s life feels as normal as possible through this transition and beyond. If you stay consistent in your parenting style, this can help them feel secure and help maintain normality in their life.
4. Encourage Communication for Your Child Coping with Divorce
Many children want to be able to speak about their feelings and ask questions about their parents’ divorce. Make sure your child knows that they can come to you to talk any time. For children who are more reserved with their feelings, it may help for you to ask them questions about how they feel and if there’s anything they want to talk about.
5. Don’t Let Distance Get in the Way of Your Connection
If you’re sharing custody, it can be difficult to find ways to feel connected when your child is with the other parent. But you can still create shared experienced when you’re apart from your child. Technology like FaceTime and texting let you communicate every day, and you can even do things like eat lunch together over FaceTime or text about a book or TV show you’re both enjoying.
6. Be Supportive and Understanding of Your Child’s New Normal
With two parents living two separate lives, a child also may develop two distinct lifestyles. If your ex-spouse has different rules or traditions that your child engages with at their home, it’s important to respect that. Be patient as your child adjusts to their different homes, and show your support by letting them share about their experiences with their other parent.
7. Seek Professional Help to Ensure Your Child’s Well-Being
It can be hard to navigate how to care for your child during a divorce, especially in the beginning. Professionals can help you make important decisions and offer guidance and advice you can trust. You can learn more about how custody lawyers can help here, and you can also arrange for your child to see a therapist who specializes in working with families in your situation.
Find What Works Best for Your Family
Find routines, traditions, and modes of support that work best for you and your child. As your child ages and as things in your own life change, be willing to change these things as well, so you can help your child grow into a happy, well-adjusted adult. Browse our lifestyle section for more advice on creating a happy, healthy home for your family.