Recent statistics don’t paint a very rosy picture of the state of marriages in the UK. 42% of marriages end in divorce and percentages are still rising. Of those unhappy marriages, a significant number involve children. Divorce can be stressful for adults but it’s even more so for children. The good news, however, is that the majority of them are able to bounce back and adjust admirably to the changes in their circumstances. If you’d like to know how you can ease the divorce process for your children here are some tips to help.
Helping Your Child Through the Divorce
Your children could well be feeling that their world is turned upside down, but you can help them work through it by making them your priority. With patience, understanding and a sympathetic ear, you’ll be able to help reduce their anxiety and fears. Life is going to get very bumpy for a while, and they need to know they can rely on you for stability and structure.
It’s not something either of you should be doing on your own, either. Work together because it’s not helping your children if they see you arguing and battling with each other.
Talking to Them About Your Divorce
It’s not something you can sweep under the carpet and hope it’ll go away. Before you talk to your kids, it’ll help if you both sit down and decide what to say together. There are going to be some tough questions getting asked, so be prepared with some answers. Be honest about why it’s happened, but don’t feel the need to go into too much detail. Above all, make sure they understand they’re not the reason and that you’ll both still love them just the same.
Who Will They Live With?
This is a difficult one to answer as there are so many variables and each case is going to be different. If your children are old enough, they should have a say in the decision. The question of schooling has to be thought about and whether either of you has the time to become a full-time parent. The ideal scenario would be for you to share responsibility for raising your children and for you to agree on the best way to do it. A solicitor who specialises in family law, such as Crisp & Co Solicitors in Bristol, will be able to offer professional advice.
Divorce is Like a Grieving Process
Children can feel like they’re losing a parent, but you can help them adjust to their new circumstance if you help them to express their emotions. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, allowing them to be totally honest. If you really listen to what they’ve got to say they might surprise you with their feelings of loss, frustration and sadness.
One thing you need to stress to them from the beginning is that they’re not the reason for you getting divorced. It’s nothing they’ve done or haven’t done. You might have to repeat this several times over so be patient and keep reassuring them, however long it takes for them to understand.