Divorce can be an extremely painful and confusing time for everyone involved, but can be especially confusing for children. In this blog post, we will provide several recommendations for minimizing the negative impact of divorce on children and will provide parenting tips to help your children adjust healthily throughout the divorce.
1. Encourage Your Child to Have a Relationship with the Other Parent
It’s important for your child to know it’s OK for them to have a relationship with the other parent. Letting your child know that you genuinely want him or her to be close to both parents is the most loving, caring, and healthy thing you can do for your child. Research shows that the strongest predictor of child health after divorce is the ability to have close relationships with both parents. Encouraging bonding with the other parent is the best thing you can do to help your child cope with the divorce.
2. Keep Perspective and Plan Ahead
With divorce comes a series of events your children will experience. It’s important for parents to be aware of these changes and gradually prepare both yourself and your child for these events as they come along. These changes will likely include:
3. Maintain Rules, Discipline, and Structure
The key principles of parenting remain the same with or without divorce. All children rely on their parents for warmth, comfort, structure, rules, discipline, and a sense of responsibility and accountability. It is important to enforce rules and structure throughout the divorce to provide the child with the stability they need during divorce.
4. Provide Child with Reassurance
All children need to know they will be safe and that their basic needs will be provided for. Parents, always reassure your child with phrases such as:
5. Ask Yourself: Am I putting my child’s needs first?
When it comes to helping your children through divorce, the better you, as parents, can cooperate, the better off your children will be. It’s key for you put your children’s needs first and provide them with the support they need to figure out how to handle the various changes and emotions of divorce.