Divorce can be a difficult time for anyone – especially children. Regardless of their age, children can feel very uncertain with all the changes that are taking place. Below are 3 ways to ease their pain while going through a divorce.
1. Enhance Communication
Great communication is key with your children at this time. In fact, up until this point, there was probably not a time when it was more important as it is during a divorce. Below are some pointers to consider in this regard.
Be truthful. Honesty is very important, but understand that some things may require less or more discussion and explanation. Anything too long-winded or complicated should be avoided. Encourage them to ask questions and offer solutions that do not seem like punishments. Otherwise, they may feel like the situation is their fault.
Be patient. It is easy to become stressed during this time. However, make every effort to exact as much patience as possible with your children. Reassure your children that everything will be fine. They are bound to be very anxious while all these changes are occurring in how they live.
When they want to talk about anything, be available. Really listen to what they have to say and address their concerns. They might have questions like, “What is a divorce?”. Any divorce attorney will strongly encourage you to make sure your children feel at ease to talk to you anytime they wish during this difficult time.
2. Instill Structure
While it is always fun to do things on a whim, children also respond well to structure. Most enjoy knowing that dinner will be at a certain time or that another fun activity will take place. Not only does this give them something to look forward to, but it lessens confusion, especially at this time.
Adopt eating, napping, playing, activity and bed times. Draw up a loose schedule to follow. This will also provide reassurance for them that everything is going to be okay. Include the children in shopping, meal selection and preparation to make the activities more enjoyable and less like chores.
3. Plan Activities
One of the best ways to alleviate the stress of divorce for children is to divert their attention. Focusing on more positive activities not only lessens confusion, but it is a great opportunity to set a good example on how to handle difficult circumstances. Below are some suggestions on activities to consider.
Try new things. Doing new things is a great way to stimulate emotional as well as mental growth. Arrange to do things together like making crafts and playing new games. Find out what they would like to do. As long as it is appropriate, go along with what your children suggest. Letting them make some decisions empowers them and can serve to strengthen your bond with them.
Participate in the community. Find local activities to participate in such as social gatherings and volunteer work. During a difficult divorce, one great way to take the focus off the situation is to help others. There is plenty of evidence supporting that doing so can create long term positive affects for everyone concerned. This will also serve to get your children excited about giving back.
Get plenty of exercise. Exercising regularly can include physical games, walking and visiting the local park. Encourage more social enjoyment. Seeing friends more often and arranging play dates is a great way to extrovert yourself and your children.
Finally, try very hard to develop a workable and harmonious relationship with your ex. Not only is this better for you, but it is good for your children’s health. Additionally, demonstrating a thoughtful transition process will only teach them how to handle difficult situations in a more positive manner.
For freelance writer, Nadine Swayne, communication is always the key, even through a difficult divorce, and this personal knowledge helps her contribute this article. The divorce process can be a highly emotional time for you and your family. The attorneys of Katz & Phillips, P.A. know it is very essential to have a divorce attorney on your side to help ensure your rights are protected during this stressful time. Remember, divorce can be devastating but, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you and your family.