We often hear about the people who live in bad marriages because they do not want for their children to go through divorce, but no matter how harsh the reality of separation may be, in some cases it is a better option. In fact, the divorce is so common that 50 percent of U.S. kids witness it, and most of them manage to cope with it just fine, but some of them do not. The risk factors for drug abuse, academic failure, getting divorced themselves and emotional stress are significantly higher. The good news is that when the parents are willing to do their best to prevent negative outcomes, children can go through their divorce less painfully.
Come to Terms with the Other Parent
First thing you should do is to discuss about your children with the other parent and set their emotional health as your mutual priority. Although you are not married anymore, you are still connected as child-raising partners and you have joined interests reflected in your children’s well being. Keep re-affirming your former partner and yourself that maturity should be the basis of your interactions. Source
Separate the Children from the Drama
Even if the parents are trying to get along, the divorce is still synonymous for drama, and you should keep your children as far away from it as possible. Focus on your mutual relationship, have fun together and encourage them to have fun in their new “other home”. Do not allow for your children to see you fight, and whatever you do, do not use them as messengers.
Try Alternatives to Traditional Litigation
The traditional litigation system can last for a very long time, and be extremely stressful for both parents and their children, especially if we are talking about contested divorce (solving issues at a trial) or at-fault divorce (proving that one party committed an act inappropriate for a marriage). Grounds for divorce and other regulations vary from state to state, but you can always opt for a safer and quicker alternative, such as online filling for divorce in Oregon or mediation in some other state.
Communicate with Your Children
No matter how obvious this might be, parents can forget or avoid talking about the divorce with their children, but that is not a good thing. Children must know that they are not to blame for the separation, that their parents still love them equally and that they are not the one getting a divorce – meaning they still have a family of both parents.
Emphasize the Reality of the Situation
It is highly important for you and your ex to sit with your children together when giving them the news about the divorce, and to explain to them that this is a decision you have reached mutually, that it is no one’s fault and that you will not reconsider your choice. No matter how harsh this may sound, it will help them grasp the reality of the divorce, move on to the next stage of grief and later to emotional healing.
Ask Therapist’s Help
Soliciting for the help of a therapist may seem as exaggeration, especially if you think your children are coping with divorce rather well, but, the truth is that a conversation with an unbiased party can always help. And when that person is a professional, you know for sure that your children will get all the necessary guidelines about dealing with the changes and negative emotions.
Divorce is always a difficult period for both children and parents. Do your best not to make it even more difficult by prolonging it and fighting.