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Can you avoid hurting your children during divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Firm News |

Children whose parents are going through a divorce are highly susceptible to anxiety, depression and even behavioral problems. They may struggle to understand the reason behind their parents’ separation, feel guilty or responsible for the breakup or have difficulty adjusting to their new family dynamics.

As a parent, your primary goal is to make this transition as easy as possible for your children. But how can you best prepare them for the changes while minimizing emotional distress? Here are some crucial mistakes to avoid when preparing children for divorce.

Mistake #1: Avoiding the conversation altogether

It is understandably difficult to break the news of divorce to your children. You might think avoiding the topic will shield them from pain, but this approach can backfire. Children are perceptive and often sense when something is wrong, and keeping them in the dark will only lead to confusion and even self-blame.

Have an open and age-appropriate conversation with your children. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault and that both their parents still love them. Encourage questions and prepare to address their concerns.

Mistake #2: Putting children in the middle of conflict

Divorce is a highly emotional process, and it is natural to feel hurt and angry during this period. However, expressing personal grievances about your spouse to your children can be harmful. Remember, your children love both parents and need to maintain a healthy relationship with each of you.

Mistake #3: Disrupting their routines and stability

It is essential to prioritize your children’s well-being by maintaining stability and routine in their lives. You can do this by keeping their school and extracurricular activity schedules consistent and minimizing changes to their living situation whenever possible. By establishing a sense of consistency in routines, rules and expectations across both households, you can provide them with a sense of security and normalcy during this challenging period.

In Indiana, as in many states, courts consider the child’s best interests when making custody decisions. Demonstrating your commitment to your children’s stability and well-being can positively impact these proceedings.

When it comes to divorce, explaining it to your children is one of the most critical moments you will have to get through. This conversation can and will have a lasting impact on their emotional well-being, self-esteem and ability to cope with the upcoming changes in their lives. Thus, approaching it with care and sensitivity should be your top priority.