There’s a lot of reasons why parents divorce. While some do it because they can no longer live together due to frequent fighting, others opt to go through divorce because they fell in love with someone else. But no matter what the reason is, one thing is certain – the divorce can affect your children in a lot of ways. If you don’t know how to become a parent during these trying times, your children can suffer lifelong consequences of divorce.
Your role as a parent continues even when going through a divorce. In fact, this is the time of your children’s lives when they need their parents the most. Here are some parenting tips when going through a divorce:
- Take The Time To Explain What’s Happening In Terms Of The Child’s Life, Not Yours.
Explaining your divorce to a child is different to when you explain it to an adult. More often than not, it’ll be easier for adults to understand what you’re going through, but it’s never the same with your children. Depending on the age of your children, you might need to break down the facts to them and explain why the divorce is taking place using the simplest terms possible. Patience should also be practiced whenever you’re going to inform your children about the divorce.
When talking to your children about the divorce, put yourself in their shoes, and explain the situation through their own lens. Make it easy for them to understand why adults are going through a divorce and why it’s better for you and your partner to live separately. Don’t forget to provide assurance to your children that they’ll always be guided and loved even during and after the divorce.
- Make Sure That Both Parents Are Present When Breaking The News.
Telling your children that you and your partner will be divorcing is one of the most challenging parts of the process. Aside from being a big change in the children’s lives, you won’t have any idea how your children will react. For the family to better handle the emotions of the children, it’s best if you and your partner break the news together. Both of the parents should be present whenever the topic of divorce is informed to the children.
During this process, consider the following points:
- Let your children understand that they’ll be loved equally by two homes. No parent should become the antagonist during a divorce.
- Reassure your children that you and your partner will continue to become an important part of their lives. Both of you will still be present during your children’s important milestones, and both will be available in times of need.
- Tell your children that the divorce was a mutual decision made by two adults. As a parent, never make them feel that they’ve caused or triggered the divorce. Letting your children think this way will have a negative impact on their development and upbringing.
- Always Pay Attention To Your Children’s Reactions.
After breaking the news to your children, give them the avenue to vent out all of their emotions. Allow them to feel angry, frustrated, or sad about the divorce. Never scold them for feeling certain emotions about the divorce. If necessary, consider providing an independent support system for your children. This is a great avenue for your children to express their innermost emotions without having the fear of being judged. You don’t want your children to carry any emotional baggage just because you and your partner went through a divorce, right?
- Work On Keeping Predictable Routines.
Regardless if your children are already old enough to understand the concept of divorce, expect that this will always create change in their lives. To ensure that this phase won’t become the reason for your children’s isolation and depression, work on keeping predictable routines. Doing this allows your children to feel a sense of calm and order, making it easier for them to handle the divorce. Extracurricular activities, bedtime stories, and school drop-offs should remain as constant as possible. If you, and your partner, pick up the children from school, nothing should change even after the divorce. This is especially important for younger kids until you slowly transition away from each other.
Prioritize Your Children
Since you’re a parent, you shouldn’t solely think about your sentiments when going through a divorce – you should greatly consider how your children would feel and react. Divorce might be one of the most challenging times in a family’s life, but with property parenting, this phase can still allow your children to live a fulfilled and happy life in the long run!