Your children’s experience during your divorce is likely to be vastly different from your own. You and your children’s other parent need to ensure that your children receive the emotional and psychological support they need during the proceedings.
Children often feel grief, and it is common for them to lash out at the parents. Divorce is tough, but there are steps you and the other parent need to take to make sure your kids have support to get through this time all right.
Give them your undivided attention
During a divorce, children need to be able to talk about their feelings. They don’t always know how to put these into words, though, so simply being around may not be enough. When you are with them, don’t look at your cellphone, check your email or become absorbed in a TV show. Instead, spend quality time in a fun activity, ask open-ended questions and listen to their answers so you can reassure them that they have your support.
Provide a structured environment
Routine and structure help children feel safe and comfortable because they know what to expect. However, with two different households and an all-new living situation, former routines may not be possible now. Talk to the other parent about ways you can duplicate structure in both homes and make this as close as you can to the environment your children were used to before the divorce.
Create a good support system
Parents need their own support systems during divorce, whether it is friends, family or co-workers. Children also need support systems during this time. You and your former spouse should encourage your kids to spend time with their friends and to continue pursuing extracurricular activities. It can be particularly beneficial for your children to hang out with other schoolmates who have gone through the same thing and can offer peer support.