If you are going through a divorce and have children, you probably already know that the process is as difficult for your children as it is for you - maybe even more so. Like most Northern Kentucky residents who are dealing with the same challenges, you want to know how to make this process easier for your children to recover from.
Parents points out that it is not so much the divorce itself that is so painful for children, but the conflict that they witness between their parents. You and your spouse may have had regular fights for years before deciding to divorce, but splitting up creates a new, unfamiliar family dynamic that can be upsetting for children. If you and your spouse continue to have disagreements in front of them, it only adds to their uncertainty and heartbreak. Therefore, it can help a great deal if you and your spouse can work toward being friendly with each other or, at the very least, civil in front of the children.
The following tips illustrate a few ways to stay on friendly terms with your ex, as well as the reasons it can help.
1. Present a united front when you tell your children about the upcoming divorce. Answer their questions honestly, while remaining age-appropriate. Be sure to remind them frequently that you both still love them very much and always will.
2. Refrain from saying anything negative about the other parent in front of the children. Even though you may be hurt or angry with your spouse, this is still your children's mother or father, and they should not feel like they have to take sides.
3. Try to stay involved in your ex's family and include them in yours. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still family, and it will be better for your children if everyone can get along and they are included in family events and activities, whenever possible.
Divorce always hurts at first, but the way you and your spouse treat each other after the split can make a big difference in how quickly and well your children begin to heal. Next week, we will share more information on this topic.