You cannot prevent your children from feeling sad, angry or confused during and following a divorce. However, some parents’ actions can exacerbate those negative feelings and stress their children out worse than the divorce otherwise would.
To keep your actions aligned with your children’s best interests, you must learn to alleviate their stress, not add to it. Avoiding common mistakes can help your kids have a more stress-free experience.
Do not complain about your ex with your kids
During a divorce, you may find yourself ranting about your ex or making offhanded comments because of how you feel, without realizing that your kids may hear it and internalize what you say. When you say negative things about their other parent, they may worry you feel the same way about them.
Seek out friends and family who will listen to your negative thoughts. You need to have an outlet too, but make sure your kids do not hear it.
Do not focus only on the changes
You want to prepare your kids for the adjustment period and while it is important for you to prepare them for what will change, they also need your assurance that some things will stay the same. Change is overwhelming, but the little things that stay the same will be reassuring. For example, talk about how your feelings will not change towards your kids and which parts of the routine will remain the same as always.
Try to keep your conflict to a minimum in front of your kids. Kids will feel more secure when they do not have to witness fighting between their parents.