Nothing is more important than the welfare of our children. Divorce can be unbelievably stressful for children, at any age. Kids may feel uncertain about their “new” life may be like. They may feel a deep sense of loss. They may be angry at both or one of their parents. They may feel as if the divorce is their fault. Divorce isn’t easy, but as a parent, you can make the process and the effects less painful for your child(ren). Talking to your children about the situation may be painful. Here are some helpful hints:
- Tell the truth: Without going into unnecessary details, be as honest as you can about the situation. Be age-aware. Young children need less detail than older children.
- Say “I love you”: Your children cannot hear these words enough at this trying time. Let them know that you will still care for them in every way.
- Address changes: Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by coming up with a plan. Try not to overwhelm them. Let them know that you can together deal with each detail as time goes on.
- Be a good listener: Encourage your children to share their feelings. Find a good counselor for them to see that they feel comfortable with. They may not feel comfortable telling you their personal, inter-most thoughts. A counselor will help them through this trying time.
- Provide as much stability as possible. Although divorce may bring many changes for your children, try to keep structure and stability as much as possible in their daily lives.
- Provide physical closeness – in the form of hugs or spending one-on-one time with them. Provide regular telephone contact with the noncustodial parent. It provides them with the feeling that their absent parent is interested in their day-to-day lives.
Most of all, give them reassurance and love. It will take some time for your kids to work through their issues about the separation or divorce, but you should see gradual improvement over time.
An experienced Morris County Divorce Attorney can help you through these difficult times and connect you with experienced resources to help you and your children during the divorce process. The O’Sullivan Law Group offers complimentary initial consultations.