5 Tips for Helping Children Deal With the Stress of Divorce
While divorce can be difficult for the couples who are dissolving their marriage, it can be incredibly challenging for the children involved. From dealing with major changes to their home life to potentially be exposed to fighting or bitterness between their parents, children can be greatly affected by the divorce process.
If you have children and you are preparing to file for divorce, here are some things you can do to help your children overcome the stress and anxiety they may experience moving forward:
- Be honest with your children – Children can sense when things are not right, and being honest with them (in a manner that is appropriate for their age) can help them start to understand what is happening and the changes that may be coming. As you have honest conversations with your children about divorce, be sure to keep it simple and avoid blaming anyone directly for the divorce. Simply saying something to the effect that “mommy and daddy are not getting along anymore” can be sufficient.
- Listen to them & let them be honest about their feelings – The changes that come with divorce can be confusing and upsetting for children, so let them share their feelings with you honestly. Allowing children to express their feelings can help them process and understand their emotions, and that can be essential to relieving the stress, anger or even pain the divorce may cause them.
- Be patient – Although children may understand what is going on with the divorce, day to day (or week to week), their emotions may change as new confusion or stress arises. So, do your best to remain patient and understanding as your children adjust to the major changes happening around them. Your patience can go a long way towards easing the pressure and distress they may be experiencing (and that they may not know how to deal with).
- Provide them with reassurance and support – Continually remind your children that you love them very much and that the divorce has nothing to do with them (it’s about your relationship with the other parent). The changes that come with divorce can be far easier for children to adjust to when they are confident that their parents are there to continue to love and support them, regardless of the new family dynamic.
- Take care of yourself so you can stay positive – The stress of divorce can drive people to some unhealthy habits. When you have children going through divorce with you, however, staying healthy is essential, as it can provide further reassurance to your children that you (and they) will get through divorce just fine. Staying healthy is also important to keeping a positive outlook and avoiding the negativity that can increase your – and your children’s – stress in divorce.
When you are ready to end your marriage, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.
From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.