Can children go through a divorce and come out the other end stronger and happier? Absolutely, however, it's going to take some work. It is possible for your children to experience relatively few problems and no long-term negative effects.
Often, it's the change in living arrangements, schools, and quality of life that causes the resentment and fear. If you don't allow your child to openly express those emotions, they can feel powerless and insecure.
The emotional trauma that your child goes through has a lot to do with their experiences with the separation and divorce, which is connected to the parents' attitudes and messages more than anything else.
Your words and actions either expose your children to unnecessary negativity, or they help them develop positive attitudes. Here are some ways to help your children cope with the divorce:
When you tell your children that you're splitting up, tell them together. This way you and your spouse are showing a united front from the beginning.
Encourage your children to communicate openly about their feelings. If they describe anger, fear, or sadness, then comfort and reassure them. Let them know that they will still be cared for and safe.
Tell your child's teachers and their friends' parents about the divorce, this way there is no shortage of emotional support. You can find additional support for your children by reaching out for help from friends, family, religious or secular groups, counselors or therapists.
Don't forget to:
- Provide continuity and stability at home.
- Don't expose your kids to arguing, be it in person or over the phone.
- Don't badmouth your spouse or their behavior.
- Take good care of yourself, this way you can take care of your children.
If you're going through a hard time, don't be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for emotional support.