In this article, we’ll be sharing tips on how to support your kids through a divorce when you have a big family…
We all know that divorce or separation can be stressful for a couple but, even more so when kids come into the equation. It can be incredibly difficult for children and it can be tricky to support them through this stressful time while also practising self-care.
That is why it is important to seek legal advice from a London family solicitor to make the divorce process a whole lot easier. There are also plenty of other things you can do to make the separation a smoother process for you and your family. Below, we’ll be taking a look at some of these…
When going through a divorce, you’re likely to be preoccupied with a number of things such as sorting out accommodation and childcare. This can be tough when you’re also experiencing a range of different emotions. And while you are likely to have your hands full, it’s extremely important to take the time to listen to your children - particularly in the early stages of a divorce.
At this time, it’s likely that your kids will have several concerns and questions, and the first step in supporting them is to ensure that they feel that they are being heard. If your child is quieter than usual, encourage him or her to share their feelings as, often, a child will worry that divorce is somehow their fault.
When a couple is divorcing, children will often be anxious about possible changes to their own lives. It is important to try and reassure your children about things that won’t change. For instance, the school they attend or being able to see their friends is a really good way of relieving some anxiety during this turbulent time. This is also a good opportunity to reassure children that, no matter what happens, they are loved by both parents.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
During a separation or divorce, it’s natural to feel vulnerable but don’t be tempted to encourage your children to take sides by blaming your spouse for the divorce in front of them. During a separation, it’s more important than ever to reinforce the message that the children are very much loved by both parents - and that this will not change during and after a divorce.
If possible, you could make an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, that you will work together to support your children. This agreement could include trying to keep things civil and figuring out custody and visitation in a reasonable way.
Feeling pressure to choose between two parents can be extremely stressful for even an only child. However, when kids feel that they may also be separated from one of their siblings, there is a very real risk that they will begin to suffer emotional and mental health issues.
Try to Stick to the Same Routine
If pre-divorce, your children have enjoyed spending time with extended family, then this should not change now that you’ve decided to go your separate ways. Try to ensure that your children still get to see all of the family members that they are used to visiting - even if you are no longer on good terms with your in-laws. Ultimately, this will help your child to stay grounded and to understand that some parts of his or her life will continue as normal.
Avoiding disruption by keeping things as ‘normal’ as possible will help your children to understand that, while a divorce may be upsetting, it doesn’t mean that the child’s entire world will come crashing down. For this reason, it’s always best to avoid making any major changes until things have become calmer and more settled for everybody involved.
Bring in Reinforcements
While, as a parent, you’ll want to do all that you can to support your children during your divorce, you don’t have to go it alone. To begin with, request a meeting with your children’s teachers so that you can make them aware of the situation. This can ensure your children get any extra support they may need.
You might also want to consider counselling for your children, as being able to speak to somebody who is not directly involved in the divorce can help them to express their feelings. This means they can also do so freely, without worrying about upsetting one or both of their parents. If you choose to go down this route, your child’s school will usually be able to make a recommendation for a children's counsellor and may even be able to arrange this for you.
Feeling More Confident About Supporting Your Family Through Divorce?
Unfortunately, even with the best will in the world, a divorce is likely to be unsettling and upsetting for your children. As they watch their parents go through the process of embarking on separate lives. At this time, your job is to try to keep daily life as normal as possible for your children and to offer constant love and reassurance. Children are extremely resilient and, as long as they know that they are loved and will be taken care of, they will be able to emerge from the process without too much distress.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on the law. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.