10 Tips to Reduce the Stress of a Divorce on Your Children

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If you’re getting divorced, you might be worried about the impact it will have on your kids. In this article you’ll find some great tips about supporting your kids when you are getting divorced.

Going through a divorce is never easy; you’ll be trying to look after your own wellbeing, while supporting your kids at the same time. You’ll have plenty to organise, whether it’s hiring family lawyers or arranging your finances.

The processes can feel a little overwhelming, which is why plenty of advice is useful during this challenging time. Children in particular can find the adjustment hard as they’re still growing and developing.

To help we’ve devised a list below on how to help reduced the stress for your kids during this difficult time. Keep reading to find out 10 ways that you can reduce the stress of a divorce on your children….

1.  Keeping the Peace

Getting divorced can be emotionally gruelling, and many couples struggle to move through the process amicably. It can be challenging to avoid conflict, particularly if there has been wrongdoing, or ongoing issues.

However, children who are exposed to parents arguing and bad mouthing one another may experience anxiety and stress. Our childhood experiences shape our expectations in adulthood and exposure to conflict can have a detrimental effect on a child’s mental health.

So, as far as possible, divorcing couples should seek to keep the peace, for the sake of their children.

2.  Listen to Their Concerns

At some stage, you’ll need to sit your children down and explain your divorce to them. This can be more difficult if your kids are younger, however the conversation does need to happen.

Whether your children are older or younger, it’s important that you listen to and address all of their concerns. If your children are feeling stressed, they may feel even more anxious if they do not feel that they are being listened to. Give them a chance to express their emotions and worries.

Let them have an opinion on what they’d like to happen, for example, their preferred living situation. You don’t necessarily have to adhere to all of their preferences, but it’s important that they feel heard.

3.  Avoid Oversharing

When you’re explaining your divorce to your children, you’ll want to be honest, while avoiding oversharing. It’s not appropriate to go into too much detail with your kids; doing so is likely to make them feel more stressed out.

The best thing to do is to keep your explanations simple and neutral. Your children might ask you some difficult questions, so it’s good to be prepared for this. Remember, if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s fine to express that.

4.  Offer Support

When kids are feeling stressed out, they may not clearly recognise this emotion, or know how to deal with it. To help them during this hard time, it’s vital that parents offer support, guiding their kids to feel better.

There are plenty of activities that kids can use to de-stress, depending on their age group. A few simple ideas include playing outside in nature, taking a bath or listening to music. Yoga is an incredibly relaxing activity, and there are even some great meditation and mindfulness apps aimed at children.

5.  Hire a Family Lawyer

To ensure a stress-free divorce process, it is useful to hire a family lawyer. A solicitor will be able to help you in many different ways throughout the divorce processes, including:

  • Guidance through a no-fault divorce
  • Support with family mediation canallow you to organise your child’s living arrangements and finances with minimal tension.
  • Unbiased legal advice, and assistance that can help reach mutually beneficial terms with your ex-partner.

6.  Create a Schedule

If you’re getting divorced, it’s likely that your child’s schedule will change. Many children like a set routine, and so changes can make them feel overwhelmed and worried. To ease your child’s anxiety, it can be helpful to create a schedule, and talk them through it.

The schedule might cover how much time they’ll spend with each parent, and on which days. Unless you’ve already drawn up and child arrangements order with your ex-partner, you may not know this information yet. Figuring out a schedule is a process which may take some time.

7.  Give them Distractions

Negative feelings of stress and angst can start to take their toll after a while. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to find positive distractions to help your children to focus on other things besides the fact that their parents are splitting up. Plan fun activities that you can do together or arrange for them to have days out with their friends.

8.  Speak to Their Teachers

You may find that your child starts to struggle in school a little when you are getting divorced. However, you shouldn’t fret as this is a normal part of the process.

As time passes, and they start feeling better, things should return to normal. In the meantime, it can be helpful to have a discussion with their teachers. If their teachers know the situation, they can also be there to offer support.

9.  Get the Basics Right

When kids are struggling with their mood and emotions, getting the basics right makes all the difference. Make sure that your child is getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating plenty of healthy and nutritious foods.

Little things like this can make a huge difference when children are feeling stressed out. Mental health and physical health are intrinsically linked, so it’s important to keep an eye on both.

10. Be a Good Role Model

Remember, your children look up to you, and they will naturally look to their parents in times of stress. As much as you can, be a role model during this time. Model your own stress coping tactics during divorce, which could be a great way to help your kids do the same.

Supporting Your Kids During a Divorce is Paramount

Supporting your kids during a divorce can be tough, but there are many things you can do to reduce the stress of divorce on your children. The most important thing is to keep the peace with your ex-partner as much as you can. You’ll need to be honest with your children, without oversharing. It’s helpful to address their concerns and support them with stress coping tactics.

To ensure that you have a stress-free divorce process, it can be useful to hire a family lawyer. A professional lawyer will be able to guide you through the no-fault divorce process, and support you with family meditation processes to reduce tension.

This won’t be easy for anyone, but supporting one another through this tough time will only make each of you stronger.

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.

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