The end of a marriage is difficult for everyone involved. When you have children, you might not realize how much they can be impacted by the divorce. Adults tend to think that children will just cope with it all and be fine, but this may not be the case.
Having their parents split up is a hard situation for children. They have to learn how to live with an entirely new family dynamic that is split between two homes. This can make the children stressed, fearful and worried about the future.
Witnessing parents fighting
Having to see your parents fighting and not being able to do anything about it can be hard on children. This is one reason why so many people will warn adults going through a divorce to keep the adult matters between the adults and not involve the children. Instead of trying to hash out matters when the children are present, you can use mediation sessions to work through contentious matters. Under no circumstances should you use your children as messengers or speak negatively of your ex in front of the kids.
Adjusting to new family dynamics
Another thing that worries some children is the fact that they are going to have to live in two homes. They might also be worried about how holidays are going to work now that the parents are getting divorced. These points can be addressed by having a meeting with the children and your ex to clear up any misconceptions and answer the child’s questions about what is going to happen. Just make sure that you don’t give false information or make promises that you can’t keep.
Some children blame themselves for the divorce. They will begin to think that if they had just done something differently or behaved more that the divorce wouldn’t have happened. You have to reassure the children that they aren’t the reason for the divorce. This can be difficult to do, but you and your ex will have to work together to make it happen.
Throughout the divorce and in the period that follows it, your children may experience emotions that they don’t understand. This can lead to frustration. Give your children time to speak about what concerns and feelings they have. Help them to work through these feelings and with productive and appropriate coping techniques.