How to keep your child happy during a divorce.
Divorce is a very difficult topic to share with friends and family. When children are involved, it makes the topic even harder to discuss. Whether your children are six, or twenty-five years old, divorce will always be a hard concept to understand. Here are three simple tips to ensure your child will process the divorce news in a healthy manner.
The most efficient way to let your child have a smooth transition through the divorce process is to be completely honest. If you think pretending everything is the fine with your marriage is the best option for your child, you’re mistaken. Believe it or not, children notice everything. Imagine how your child would feel when they find out their “perfect” parents are actually just lousy actors. You might think concealing the truth is a way of protecting your child, but it could result in your child resenting the both of you. Your child will be more hurt at the fact that you tried to hide something from them, compared to the divorce news itself. It’s completely understandable that there might be certain reasons for the divorce that you feel your child isn’t ready to hear. If this is the case, you must find a way to keep them in the loop without revealing too much. For example, if cheating played a role in the divorce, you can simply tell your child the two of you are having trust issues. Just always remember honesty really is the best policy. At the end of the day, your biggest goal as a parent is to make sure your child is comfortable with the changes life throws at them.
2. Don’t pressure them to pick sides.
Nothing will tear your family apart more than convincing your children your ex spouse is the bad person in this situation. Talking negatively about your ex spouse in front of your child will only have destructive outcomes. This is especially true if your child is young, because they will automatically believe everything you say. This could cloud their judgment on their other parent when they become older. The best way to avoid this is to never speak negatively about your ex spouse in front of them. You have to make sure to keep a professional relationship between you and your ex for your child’s sake. Unless your child tells you directly they don’t want to see their other parent, you should never keep your child away from seeing them. Letting your child see their parent frequently allows the child to heal quicker from the divorce. When children are involved within a divorce, remember that every choice you make affects them more than it affects you. You must put yourself in your child’s shoes before you make any rash decisions.
3. Introducing a new love interest.
One of the hardest things for a child is to see their parent with someone else after a divorce. It is imperative to never introduce your child to someone that you don’t see a future with. If you introduce your child to every person you go on a date with, it will cause confusion for the child and possibly hate towards you. Before you physically introduce your love interest to your child, you should first sit your child down and have a talk. Simply explain to your child that you’re very happy in your new relationship and that you would love for them to meet. This will allow the child to process you dating someone new easier, compared to introducing them on a random night. Once they have met, you should bring your partner around more often so your child can see the way you two interact. Once your child sees how happy you really are, they will eventually gain respect for your partner. Following these steps will help your child accept the fact that you moved on without feeling any negative way towards you.