Getting divorced is an awful experience and if there are kids involved then it becomes infinitely more difficult. A solicitor that specialises in family law will have seen this happen on numerous occasions and there is very rarely a time when things go ‘well’. What is most important during the divorce however is not the feelings of the parents, at least not primarily, but rather the wellbeing of the children. Unlike the adults, the children of divorce had no part to play in the separation of their parents, but they still feel the pain like everyone else. If you are going through a divorce at the moment and you do have children, here are some tips on helping them to come through it as unscathed as possible.
Children very often blame themselves for the breakdown of their parent’s marriage and whilst that may seem crazy to us adults, children can genuinely believe this. With this in mind then parents must do all that they can to remind their children that this was not their fault. In some cases this may mean having ‘grown up’ conversations with your children, to give them the key reasons as to why you have chosen to separate with your partner. You must strike a balance here between speaking to them as an adult, and omitting the unnecessary details.
Whether you loathe your soon-to-be ex-partner or not, you must put on a united front for your children. Unfortunately the person from whom you are getting divorced is still the parent of your children and as such you mustn’t do anything to alter or affect their relationship. This means no bad-mouthing in front of the kids and making sure that any arguments or tense discussions are had in private.
As difficult as it can be to do, giving your children as much normality as possible is the best course of action here. This means endeavoring to keep them in the family home, continuing with their weekly events and giving them an equal share of time with both parents. When children have stability in this way they can deal with things better than if their life is suddenly flipped upside down, a sad consequence of many divorces. Keep things as normal as possible and they will be better equipped to deal with the change.
As we touched on earlier, you and your children will be having some discussion of a much deeper nature than you may have done before. The key is to give your children just enough information about what is going on and most importantly to create an environment for them where they can speak about anything at all with you. If your kids know that they aren’t being shut out then they will mature a lot during this process.
Remember that the kids are not to be used as pawns or to be weaponized by the parents, if this happens then your children won’t come through this process without at least some guilt and resentment.