Divorce is generally considered to be one of the most difficult experiences you can go through. Even if you and your ex parted on completely amicable terms, the sense of loneliness and failure, not to mention the heaps of paperwork you need to deal with, make it an extremely stressful affair. Add the children into the mix, and you’ll start feeling like the whole world’s coming down on your shoulders.
To a parent, the suffering of their children usually feels even worse than their own, and we’ll do anything we can to protect them from pain. Well, despite the fact that everything feels so difficult and overwhelming right now, you can still help your little ones cope. We’re here to offer some advice, so if you’re in need of comfort and useful tips, read on.
Reassure your children every day
Even though it may sound completely insane to you, your children might think that the whole thing is somehow their fault. They’ll blame themselves and they’ll feel like one of their parents is leaving because they’ve done something wrong.
You need to cut this down at the root and reassure your kids that they’re loved, that none of this is their fault, and that both parents care for them deeply. Be gentle and let them know that they’ll never be alone.
Don’t sugarcoat anything
Having said all that, you still need to let them know what’s happening. You can’t sugarcoat it or hide what happened because sooner or later they’ll realize something is wrong. Break the news in a calm manner, and give them some time to process what’s happening.
Get good legal help
The best way to protect yours and your children’s interests is to get good legal help, especially if you’re worried about your ex’s behaviour. If possible, lawyers can help you reach an agreement and apply for an uncontested divorce, but otherwise, you might be in for a lengthy battle.
In a lot of cases, you have to prove you and your partner have been separated for a certain period of time before the proceedings can take the course. In countries like Australia, this period lasts for twelve months. Good lawyers can explain more about your rights and responsibilities, just make sure to find specialists for family law in Sydney if you want to get good legal advice.
If you’re from the US, then bear in mind that this period is different from state to state. If both parties agree to waive the separation requirement it can usually be reduced to six months. Prepare well because divorces can be long and exhausting, and your children will need to be led through the process gently. Again, you’ll need a good family law specialist to protect your assets.
Take good care of yourself
Even if you do your absolute best to hide things from your children, they’ll feel your stress and your sadness. For their sake, you must take good care of yourself and live a positive lifestyle. Don’t neglect eating well and exercising, and don’t give yourself to bouts of hopelessness — your kids can’t be happy if you aren’t, so be kind to yourself for their sake.
Never fight in front of your kids
No matter how angry you are at your ex you must never fight in front of your children. It will scare them like nothing else, and they won’t cope well with hearing you call your spouse ugly names as you shout at each other. Argue when you’re alone or not at all.
Get into a good routine
One of the reasons divorce is so stressful for children is because it interrupts their safe daily routines. One of the parents is no longer around and things are changing at a breakneck speed.
To make up for it, try to stick to their regular schedules as much as possible, and make sure to always provide a safe space and keep communication between you open. Let them know they can still come to you with their problems.
Encourage them to spend time with your ex
If your ex is willing to see their children, allow your kids to go. What’s more, smile and encourage the idea, and let them stay close to both of their parents if at all possible. Be as friendly as you can possibly be with your ex, and when it comes to your kids, vow to always do whatever is best for them.
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but as long as you can create a stable environment and reassure your children that they’re loved, it can make things easier. Be kind to yourself, be there for your kids, and you’ll push through this together.