How To Help Your Children Cope with a Divorce

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce can be a heartbreaking experience for you and your spouse. No matter the reason, separating from someone you loved and believed, would be a part of your life forever, can leave you feeling lonely, angry, frustrated, and depressed. But as you find yourself struggling with this harrowing time, you can sometimes neglect how your children could possibly be feeling.

Divorces can be stressful and frustration for your children as well. Not to mention very confusing. The uncertainty of the situation and the prospect of their parents splitting up can leave them very resentful and angry. It is normal for parents to keep their children away from stressful situations like arguments and the divorce proceedings, but it becomes your responsibility to help your kids through the process.

Here are some steps you should take to ease your child through your divorce and make it less painful:

  1. Help them understand, the divorce has nothing to do with them. Kids may begin to blame themselves for your separation, especially if they have heard arguments regarding them. Tell them, the divorce was not caused by them and they could not have prevented it either. Explain that you are divorcing your spouse and not your children.
  2. Tell them that you want them to maintain a healthy relationship with both of their parents. Do not speak poorly of your ex around your children.
  3. Explain to your kids that there are no chances that you and your ex could get back together. If you leave even an inkling of hope, they will harbor that thought and keep hoping that their parents get back together.
  4. Allow them to express their feelings about your separation. Tell them, it is okay to feel sad and angry. Encourage them to vent their frustrations and listen to what they have to say, even if it can sometimes be painful to hear.
  5. If need be, take your children to a therapist who has good experience with kids. If you cannot afford one, reach out to family members and friends who can help you and your kids through this.
  6. Do not fight in the presence of your children and always aim for peaceful transitions. Have peaceful discussions with your ex and be civil about the whole thing.
  7. Reach middle ground with your ex. Plan vacations, birthdays, and holidays together so your children know that they will always be part of a family.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your children are as less affected by your divorce as possible. Despite the difficulties you could face with the divorce, make sure you are involved with their lives and make them always feel wanted and loved.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation