Divorce and separation are never easy, but it can be all the more difficult when children are involved.
If you’re in the middle of a divorce or separation, these are some tips that parenting experts recommend to help make it less difficult for kids.
How To Handle A Divorce With Kids
1. Don’t play them off between parents
Children should NEVER be used as a bargaining tool or a way to punish the other parent. No matter how childish or nasty things get between you and your partner, don’t involve the kids.
Be very careful what you say about their Dad around them. Even if he is using the kids as pawns, don’t stoop that low. It is not in the best interests of the kids and that’s what matters most.
2. Be honest
Try not to give children false hope or pretend that everything is fine when it clearly is not. If you are divorcing, don’t give them the idea that things will go back to the way they were.
Kids don’t need to know all the nitty gritty details but they also don’t want to be lied to.
3. Have age appropriate discussions
Your 7 year old doesn’t need to know if Daddy ran off with the work secretary. Don’t burden kids with adult issues.
Be honest about what is happening, use general terms and don’t talk down about your ex to the kids. If you need to vent, save it for your girlfriends. Even if your kids are teenagers and they seem to be able to handle it, it’s never a good idea.
4. Seek professional help
Divorce and separation is a huge change for children and adults alike. Make sure you seek appropriate counselling for you and your kids.
5. Make sure key people know what’s going on
If your kids are at school or preschool, make sure their teachers are informed of what is going on at home.
Sometimes kids will act out or need extra support at school when things at home are a bit unstable. Give them the heads up so they can support your kids too.