Though it is sometimes necessary, divorce can be an emotionally taxing experience — especially for your children.

At any age, divorce traumatizes a child, and riding the emotional roller coaster that follows the announcement can be daunting. From feelings of guilt and anger to acting out and repressing feelings, there are several ways divorce impacts your child’s behavior. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help your child face this challenge head on, so that they can process the change as smoothly as possible.

Check out these 5 tips for helping your child through divorce:

  1. Explain The Situation: When you are dealing with divorce and kids — communication is crucial. While it’s important to speak very plainly with your child about the situation, it’s also important to be honest about why you are getting divorced. You will also want to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about speaking with your child so there is no room for miscommunication.
  2. Reassure Them: Children often feel they are the reason their parents are divorcing; so, make sure you are reassuring them that the divorce is not their fault. This will help them if they are experiencing any feelings of guilt during the divorce process.
  3. Watch What You Say: No matter how you feel toward your spouse, avoid talking negatively about them to or around your child. This often will make them feel as if they have to pick a side in the divorce and can lead to stress, anxiety and, sometimes, forms of regression.
  4. Be Prepared For Regression: Do not be surprised if you notice regressive behavior in your child around or after the divorce is finalized. Regression can look like a lot of things, from trouble sleeping to temper tantrums to wetting the bed. If your child happens to experience any form of regression, reassure them that it is a normal reaction to change and do your best to help them navigate the emotions they may be having. Often, as things begin to settle down again and a ‘new normal’ is established, your child is likely to return back to their normal behavior.
  5. Establish A Routine: Many people don’t deal well with change, and that includes children. That’s why, once custody is determined, it’s important to begin a new routine as soon as possible. Finding a ‘new normal’ will create stability that your child can depend on and help make the transition a little easier.

For more information about divorce from the experts at Podoll Law, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.737.1106.