Divorce can impact every member of the family, but children often take it particularly hard. Parents in Washington can use these strategies to help their children get through their divorce.
If you and your spouse have only just decided that you will be getting divorced, you have to tell your child. This is something you should do together, which might be difficult. Being honest but sensitive is the best way to approach the subject with your child.
Listen to them
Children experience a range of emotions when their parents go through a divorce. They might initially express shock, then go through a period of sadness and then show anger. All of these emotions are normal as they get used to the changing family dynamic. Encourage your child to talk and let them just vent. They have a right to their feelings, whatever they might be at any moment. You have to respect that, but validate them and explain that what they feel is normal and that you both love them very much.
During a divorce, some kids blame themselves. They might think that something they did or said caused the conflict and led to one parent leaving home. Giving your child plenty of assurance and letting them know it’s not their fault is crucial. Depending on the situation and your child’s age, you can even explain why the divorce is happening. At the same time, don’t place blame on your spouse, either.
In some cases, kids need additional help coping with divorce. If this applies to your child, considering therapy might be a wise option. It could possibly give them additional perspective beyond what you can give them.
Your child is resilient, so they can get through your divorce with time and patience.