With the best will in the world, not all relationships work out, and some may result in divorce. Although this is a tense and emotional time for both people, it can be especially hard on your children. They may not have realized that there were any problems, so an announcement like that could be a big shock. You need to ensure that throughout the whole procedure, your children are protected and loved.
The Effects on Your Children
There have been many studies on the effect of divorce on children. Some of the findings have shown that they don’t do as well academically and are less likely to go to college, often because there isn’t someone to pay for it. The studies have also shown that they are 25 percent more likely to abuse drugs by the age of 14. It is also thought, that your children are also more likely to get divorced when they grow up. That is why trying to keep your kids as protected as possible is so important. That said, you don’t want to lie to them or keep them out of conversations, just be aware of their feelings.
Make Your Children’s Emotional Health a Priority
Early on in your discussions about your divorce, you need to agree to prioritize your children’s emotional health over everything else. They will be upset and confused when you tell them, so you need to be prepared to listen to them and jointly support them so that they still feel loved. You are the adults and the parents, they will be looking to you to show them how to feel and how to react. If you are constantly arguing and name-calling, they will think that is acceptable.
Avoid Fighting in Front of the Kids
It won’t always be easy to not fight in front of the kids, and you might even need to compromise rather than fight, but in the long term, it has huge benefits. Not only does it help you to think of other avenues to solve your issues other than just arguing, but it also provides a mature front to your children.
Understand the Importance of Both Parents Being Involved
Unless there are dangerous reasons not to, you should always try to involve both parents in your children’s lives. They are not to blame for the divorce, and so you need to show them that you can both be there for them. Even if there are custody issues or allocation of parental responsibility resides with one parent, it doesn’t mean that the other parent shouldn’t attend events that are important in the child’s life.
Even with all of these things, there is still no guarantee that your children won’t be emotionally upset and in turmoil for a while. However, if you are both there for them and showing a united front, then these issues can quickly be resolved before they cause any long-term problems. A separated family can still be a happy family.