Your child is your pride and joy, so there is nothing worse than having to deal with his or her discontentment during divorce. You know your child isn’t adjusting well, but you’re not sure what to do.
You’re not alone. Children don’t always adjust to divorce well right away. Many struggle with the idea of a divorce and don’t understand why their parents don’t want to live together. Others hate the idea of custody arrangements. Some may believe that they’re the cause of the divorce.
What can you do to help your child understand divorce?
Age-appropriate honesty is one good way. You can explain simply that you and your spouse no longer want to live together. You should also explain what that means for your child. You need to explain that this doesn’t mean that you don’t love him or her, but instead, that you want to do what’s best by splitting up.
If your child can understand that there is tension in the home, explain that the tension and anger he or she may have been exposed to is likely to be gone if you and your spouse live apart. Your child may agree with the idea of happier parents, as most children just want to see their parents happy.
Another thing you can do is to involve your child in appropriate ways. For instance, a teen might enjoy helping with picking out a new apartment, while a young child might want to pick paint colors for his or her new room.
Take a well-rounded and calm approach to divorce, and help your child understand that change doesn’t have to be bad. By doing this, you’ll encourage him or her to move forward.