Divorce is hard on everyone involved—you, your spouse, and your children. Children often blame themselves for divorce and have difficulty coping with the separation of their parents. But by having honest conversations with your child, you’ll find ways to support yourself and them during (and after) the divorce, which will benefit you all in the long run.
Be Honest and Upfront
When talking to your teen about your divorce, be honest and upfront. Tell them what they need to know and don’t twist the truth to make it sound better; divorce is hard, and your child isn’t expecting it to be easy. Use an empathetic tone to show that you understand the hurt and anger your actions are causing your child. Above all else, don’t forget to tell them you love them.
When talking to your teen about your divorce, make sure you give them a chance to say what they need to or ask any questions to help clarify the situation. Throughout the separation process, and even afterward, your teen may come to you to talk about things or speak up for themselves. Make sure your ears and heart are open to listen to where your child is coming from and what you can do to help.
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Don’t Fight In Front of the Kids
If there is a lot of fighting between you and your spouse, try and minimize it while in front of your kids. Research shows that kids who can hear their parents fighting have the hardest time coping with divorce. If you feel an argument coming on, have it somewhere private or walk away from the conflict.
Take Care of Yourself
Divorce causes stress. End of sentence. But you can reduce your likelihood of blowing a fuse by keeping yourself healthy and active throughout the separation. By taking good care of yourself, you will reduce your stress levels, boost your mood, and be a better parent and support system for your children.
The best thing you can do for your kids during your divorce is to show them that they are loved, and that, although the family is going to look different, they are still a part of the family. Everyone needs a support system, so support each other during this hard time and help each other get through it.
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