A divorce affects all members of the family and each will have a different way to process the changes that come with it. When children are involved, parents have the additional challenge of helping their children through the process even as they themselves struggle. One of the ways Indiana parents can do this is to create a safe space and time for the children to share their feelings.
Be patient with the children
Children might need more time than adults to think about, process and begin speaking about their parents’ divorce. It is important to be supportive and let them know that you will be there when they are ready to talk about it. At first, talking about divorce might be too uncomfortable for the children as they work through the many emotions associated with the end of the marriage. Some of these emotions include:
- Anger at one or both parents
- Fear that one or both parents are abandoning them
- Guilt that they are the reason their parents are breaking up
- Anxiety over possible changes such as moving to a new home or a new school
- Depression over their lack of control over the situation
Show support when speaking to the children
Once your children feel ready, you should make sure that they feel comfortable, loved and supported. Some of the things to keep in mind include:
- Allowing the children to share their feelings
- Answering any questions honestly
- Asking the children questions that encourage them to speak
- Reassuring your children of your love and support
Communication is a big part of the process of accepting the divorce and moving on. You can help your children through this process to ensure they can begin working towards their new life.