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Divorce and Your Kids: 3 Ways to Ease Their Pain

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: January 9, 2013 | Categories: Family and Health, Guest Posts, Parenting

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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.

 

34 Responses to Divorce and Your Kids: 3 Ways to Ease Their Pain

  1. Tiffany Scarber says:

    This is a great resource, as I am currently going through this and these are great tips. Thanks!

  2. Colleen says:

    I hope my kids will not have to deal with divorce. I did as a child.

  3. michelle warner says:

    great tips, we are going through this so i need all the help i can get

  4. It is never easy on kids, but staying civil is so important.

  5. Danielle says:

    great tips

  6. tammy saylor says:

    Great tips thank you.

  7. Richard Wright says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the activities one more.
    Also the harmonious relationship tip…
    When my parents were going through their divorce it was always nice to do things…

    Their relationship was always civil

    It was definitely more smooth than other children going though the same situation..

  8. Cami says:

    Great advice. Mu parents went threw a divorce when I was young and it was hard on everybody. I hope I will never have to use these tips. Thank you

  9. Billie says:

    Structure is definitely a necessity.

  10. I hope my children never have to experience this but these are great tips.

  11. These are great tips! Hopefully I will never need to use them!

  12. rebeka deleon says:

    i hope i will never have to go through divorce with 3 kids. not even sure how i would do it but you never know…makes me sad to think of us not all together.

  13. Communication is key, hard but key

  14. Nena Sinclair says:

    This is great info, I’m going to pass this on to my nephew as he’s going through this right now and having a hard time with it and I know his kids are upset, too. Thanks!

  15. Lauren Rochon says:

    Thank you for this article, these are very wise tips to follow. All of them are important for children in order to help them develop (minimize their emotional trauma-help them move on).

  16. Courtney says:

    Great tips! I know it’s hard on my cousin 🙁

  17. Dorothy Boucher says:

    I think as parents we all pray it never comes to that, but if so i think these great ideas will definitely help out .. I know as a child when my parents when through it , thank God i had a wonderful mother, who talked about it , and allowed me to share what i was going through.. Thanks for sharing this with us 😉

  18. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Lolo says:

    I hope my son never has to go through this.

  20. Nadine S says:

    I’m so glad that this article can help so many! My main concern is how children function during emotionally hard times like a divorce. Anything that can be resourced to help a child is a great thing.

  21. My parents are still happily married and I hope my son never has to go through this.

  22. Great resources, I wish my parents had read this!

  23. I may be going through this later this year. It’s tough decision!

  24. Megan says:

    Good tips, especially about redirecting attention to other activities – sometimes not making a big deal of things yourself is the best way to keep kids calm!

  25. Jenn Huey says:

    My kids were 10,9, 7 and 2 when I got my divorce and it was especially hard on the 2 oldest boys when they were young; now I am seeing the effects it has had on the then 7 yr old girl, who is now 18. She didnt seem to be at all disturbed by it growing up.

  26. A good friend of mine is going through a painful divorce right now, with two young children. I will pass on this information. She is such a great mother and I hate that she is going through this.

  27. Sheri says:

    Great tips. I just hope I never have to deal with it.

  28. when I got divorced my son and I always had special activities we did together. That’s where we built 1 on 1 memories. great tips

  29. I unfortunately know some kids whose parents are divorcing- I’ll have to send this article to the parents. Thanks!

  30. Toni says:

    My kids will never experience this but these are great tips for those who will go through it.

  31. Great tips for a sad situation.

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