If ending your marriage isn’t something you had planned on doing right now, you mustn’t bottle up your emotions or attempt to deal with them on your own. When the unthinkable happens, and your marriage or long-term relationship ends, it can devastate you and your children. They’ll almost certainly feel confused, upset and fearful of the future. Fortunately, your kids need you more than ever right now. And as their parents, it’s up to you to provide them with the support they need to get through this challenging time.
Talk to your children about what’s happening.
Open up the lines of communication with your children as soon as possible. Let your children ask questions if you’re unsure how to start the conversation. If you’re in the process of getting a divorce or separation, your kids need to know that this isn’t anything they’ve done wrong. You must let your children know you’re not leaving them or abandoning them – you’re just rearranging your family to work for everyone.
Come up with a parenting plan.
Depending on your children’s ages and circumstances, you may have to go through a court proceeding to decide on custody and visitation rights. You may have to hire a family lawyer such as Beyond Law Family Lawyers to assist you in coming up with a suitable custody arrangement that is legally binding. This process may be frustrating and challenging, but it’s essential to be as cooperative as possible to avoid escalating the situation. Your children are likely feeling stressed and anxious enough – they don’t need to feel any more confused or worried by witnessing their parents fight over where they live or when they see the non-resident parent.
Help your kids feel safe.
Help your children feel safe in a variety of ways. One of the most important things you can do for your children is to ensure they feel safe in their homes. If there is a chance that an aggressive argument could break out between you and your ex, try to keep your visits to your house to a minimum and speak to your ex about doing the same.
Help your children feel safe in their routines and their friendships. If your family’s routine has been disrupted, try to put it back the way it was as soon as possible. Keep your kids’ friend groups intact as much as possible, and ensure they know they can always come to you with any questions or concerns.
Don’t try to fix or blame anything on your children.
One of the worst things you can do as a parent during a divorce is to try to “fix” the situation. Kids are perceptive enough to know that something is wrong and, in many cases, can feel like it is something they did personally to cause this. Reassure them that this isn’t the case and that both parents still love them; this is an adult situation and has nothing to do with them.
Take care of yourself.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to ensure that you’re taking care of your mental and physical health. Your kids will look to you to set the example for staying healthy and happy – and divorce is a challenging time for everyone involved. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take time out for yourself. You’ll be better equipped to help your children if you also care for yourself. You may also want to consider reaching out to a therapist if you’re struggling with negative emotions – they can help you devise a plan to deal with your challenges.
If you’re in a relationship, it’s essential to know how to prepare yourself and your children for the possibility that it may end. If a breakup is inevitable, try to end the relationship as amicably as possible. A relationship breakup can be incredibly challenging because two parties are involved. However, these tips will help you make the transition as smooth as possible for your children and yourself.