Going through divorce can be stressful and draining, especially for young children. Their whole world is changing before their eyes, which can create a sense of insecurity and cause emotional damage if the situation is not handled delicately.
There are ways to ensure the divorce affects your children as little as possible. Keeping these things in mind can not only protect your children’s well-being, but it can also improve your chances of obtaining a fair child custody agreement.
How to tell them
Once you and your spouse are certain of your decision to divorce, it is usually best to discuss what will happen with your children together. Let them ask questions, and do not bring in negative feelings such as blame, guilt or anger. Keep the explanation as simple as possible, but also honest.
There are some things to keep in mind regardless of the situation with your soon-to-be-ex:
- Do not involve kids in arguments: Be sure your children do not hear arguments and discussions about court proceedings between you and your spouse.
- Keep their daily routine as normal as possible: Disrupting a child’s routine can create feelings of instability and has the potential to affect self-esteem and school performance.
- Do not vent to your children: Turning your spouse into the bad guy is not a good way to help your children maintain a healthy relationship with the other parent, if this is possible in your situation. Utilize the help of a counselor and close friends as your support system.
- Ensure the other parent remains in your children’s lives: If your spouse has a healthy relationship with your children, you must do everything you can to maintain that.
Children will react to a divorce or separation in different ways; all you can do is support them as best you can. Sometimes, seeing a counselor can give kids new and healthy ways to handle their emotions and move forward with less damage to their school life or health. Be sure to understand Louisiana family laws in case you need to involve the courts in child custody or support.