As you and your ex-spouse navigate the more complicated aspects of a divorce, you may worry whether your child is coping healthily with the change.
Knowing how to mitigate any stress or anxiety during the divorce process can help you manage your child’s reaction.
Be honest and direct
According to the Mayo Clinic, speaking truthfully and clearly about the situation your child is facing is the most important facet of talking about divorce. Do not talk about personal feelings or legalistic problems, and remember to remind him or her that you are not upset or angry.
Speak privately to any teachers or other professionals in your child’s life that may need to know this sensitive information. Be careful to not badmouth your ex-spouse or assume that anyone must choose sides.
Stay consistent with rules
Although it may seem tempting to let your child stay up late or have a few extra treats, being consistent in your parenting is one way to maintain a sense of normalcy. Do not suddenly attempt to change how you parent once the divorce is final. Keeping your rules, expectations and boundaries clear helps children feel more secure, even in the middle of a major life event.
Speak to others you trust
Discussing your own issues with other people, whether they are your friends or a counselor, can help you be a better parent. Seeking outside help shows you want to better your life and your child’s life. Counseling or therapy may allow you to process your emotions so that you can have a support system while parenting.