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Help children cope with the challenges of parents' divorce

Ask any parent and they will tell you that becoming a parent was one of the best things that ever happened to them. Children are a bright spot in a parent's life and most parents will stop at nothing to provide the best for their children. When a parent makes the difficult decision to divorce their child's parent, it can be not only a challenging decision, but one that can impact the child drastically. Divorce may be the best long-term solution for you and your family but, in the beginning, you may be looking for ways to help your child cope with a divorce.

If you and your spouse are on good terms and you are able to deliver the news of the divorce to your children without any unnecessary strife, it is recommended that parents tell their child together about the divorce. Every child will take it differently, but it is important to support your child during this time of change and be open to discuss the divorce and why it's happening. You may not need to give specific answers about why you are getting a divorce, but instead focus on how the child's relationship with each parent will remain unchanged during and after a divorce. When it comes to you and your ex-spouse, try not to discuss the divorce or argue in front of the children.

It is possible to conduct these discussions in private to avoid stigmatizing the children with that strife. You and your ex-spouse may or may not agree about how to proceed on issues of asset division, child custody and other big issues that need to be settled in a divorce. That's what negotiations are for, but think about how these issues could impact you and your family moving forward. Supporting the child and being present for him or her is really important as a parent during this time of change.

While it may not seem like it right now, the process of a divorce will eventually come to a close with a resolution. This resolution can be tailored to the parents' and divorcing spouses' specific situation. The ability to tailor the child custody arrangement to your child's needs can help them immensely with the transition. Prioritize the best interests of the child during this difficult time.

Source: huffingtonpost.ca, "How To Help Your Child Cope Through A Divorce," Jillian Roberts, January 16, 2018

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