Helping your child cope with the impact of divorce

The impact of divorce on all parties involved is literally life changing. For a child, that may not be easy to process.

Therefore, both during and after the divorce, proper parental support is crucial. There are a few key things you can do to help your child cope with the impact of your marriage ending.

Work together

Just like other adults, children can sense tension. Removing this tension can be very helpful in a child's emotional stability. Therefore, finding a way to be civil with your ex-spouse is critical for the well-being of your child. Especially when you are in front of your child, try to eliminate arguments. Also, avoid talking negatively about the other parent to or in front of your child.

Talk it out

Having an open dialogue is key to aiding in the coping process. Many children internalize that the separation of their parents is somehow their own fault. Express that that is not the case and create a safe space for your child to share his or her feelings. Make sure your child understands it is OK to feel how he or she is feeling and that you are there to support him or her. Even in a gray divorce, adult children may go through many of the same emotions as younger children. Talking things out is critical at any stage of a child's life.

Additional help

Some children will take divorce harder than others will. Studies show that children who are problem-solvers or are easygoing tend to be able to cope with divorce situations better than others. In certain cases, seeking counseling or therapy may be beneficial for the child. It may also be helpful to consider one-on-one sessions and family therapy options. 

Though these tips can help the situation, your child is a unique individual with particular needs. Take some time to determine how these tactics and others can best benefit your child.

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