Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Family on the Fence: How to Help Your Children through a Divorce

Family on the Fence How to Help Your Children Through a DivorceDivorce is a devastating circumstance. It can virtually tear a family in half and has the power to cripple all family members in different ways. The financial and emotional toll alone can leave parents fighting to recover for years to come. One party that’s affected deeply during this time are young children. Children never ask to come into a situation where divorce is the end result. In order to help them cope with this change in their lives, here are a few suggestions for parents in a divorce with young children.

Questions

There will be plenty of questions from your kids. They’ll want to know how this happened and why. They may ask the same questions over and over again. Because this affects and changes their lives so deeply, get comfortable with answering lots of questions. Additionally, try have answers prepared. If need be, talk to your divorce attorney in the Mount Pleasant area to get a better idea of what is wise to reveal, and what’s important to keep undisclosed.

Counseling

Finding a child-friendly counselor is a great idea because it helps children begin to feel comfortable with working through their emotions. It creates a safe space to vent, release, manage, and deal with the feelings they have toward the divorce. It’s also a healthy way to manage the trauma. Divorce is a traumatic, life-altering event in their lives. For some people, it may seem easier to hold in all of their emotions inside and keep their pain private. This only leads to more problems down the line, so be sure they have a place to voice what may not be comfortable for you or them.

Normalcy

Since everything in a child’s world is changing, it’s important to create a new sense of normalcy. As much as possible, try to develop a routine that incorporates the old with the new. If there are certain routines that bring up painful memories, replace them with new ones. Make sure to infuse times where the kids can have fun. Divorce is an incredibly stressful situation and laughter is the best medicine, so try to have and create opportunities for the children to enjoy themselves and laugh their cares away.

Self-Care

Every time you get on an airplane, the flight attendants go through the safety protocol and encourage everyone to put the masks on their faces first before helping anyone else. Before you can be an effective parent to your children, make sure you put your own mask on. Whether you work out, go to the spa, hang out with friends, or get a good amount of rest, make sure you take care of yourself. There’s only one you, and your children need your best you to help them through this process.

If a divorce is handled well, everyone can leave the situation without anticipating permanent scars on their future. Taking these steps will certainly help ensure this. Make peace with the situation and move forward with your children’s sanity in tow.

Tim Esterdahl

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