Divorce can be a confusing, sad and stressful time, and when it comes to children, parents must do everything they can to protect their emotions. Kids at any age will certainly feel insecure or angry at the prospect of their parents separating, however there are a number of ways to reduce the damaging effect of divorce. We all remember our parents arguing one time or another when we were younger, and some of us may have even thought it was our fault. As a parent in the middle of a divorce, you’re going to have to provide your child with stability and reassurance in a time of continual change. This process won’t be seamless, but if you have a positive attitude, this will filter down to your children.
As every divorce is different, and every family reacts in different ways to divorce, ultimately there is no definitive way to safeguard your children’s emotions. Don’t worry if you’re feeling apprehensive or uneasy, as these emotions are completely normal when going through a separation, but you must be able to support your children no matter how nervous you’re feeling.
By filing for divorce, you’ve already made the choice to move on and start a new life, however this won’t be the same for your children. Although explaining the situation may be tricky, you’re going to have to break down the basics for your kids – finding common ground is the first step to helping them get through a divorce.
Firstly, no matter how big the tension between you and your partner, your children must see that you’re still making family decisions together. The last thing you want to do is put pressure on your children to side with you or your partner, so you must always show a united front in all decisions regarding your children.
Secondly, children’s lives are regulated though routines, so this is another factor that cannot be changed in the midst of a divorce. No matter how difficult it is to communicate or get along with your partner, you must not allow this bad feeling to affect the way your children live their lives. Whether you take your kids to the cinema every weekend, or your partner reads them a bedtime story, these routines should always remain if you’re going to be successful in integrating them into a divorce. If you need professional advice or help regarding your separation, contact Leeds family law solicitors.
Once you’ve explained (or tried to explain) the situation to your children, and hopefully found some common ground, then it’s time to address their needs. Some of those needs you won’t be able to meet, and some you will, but the fact that you’re actually acknowledging these needs will go a long way to stabilising your child in an environment of constant change. No matter how hard you try, you just won’t be able to continue with some of your child’s routines, but instead of allowing this to affect your child, why not try making new ones instead. For example, if your partner isn’t around to read bedtime stories every night of the week, make sure you fill in the gaps with a new activity, like watching a movie before bed or helping them with their homework.