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Getting a divorce is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do, and it’s one of those life-changing moments that really define who you are as a person.
However, this entire process is even harder when you have kids because they make your decision-making process much more difficult.
Still, you need to remember that their happiness is the most important thing in the world, which is why you need to make sure they’re protected during this entire process.
How can you do that, and what are some of the ideas you need to look into?
1. Tell them what’s going on
Talking to your kids about your divorce is neither easy nor simple, but keeping them in the dark is much worse.
No matter how old they are and what they think about your decision, they deserve to know what’s going on and why their parents are getting a divorce.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should tell them everything, but you still have to keep them informed.
The way to do this is talking to your children openly, being as gentle as possible, and creating a safe environment for them. They need to feel safe, protected, and, above all, loved, which is why doing this at their own pace is crucial.
Don’t try to tell them what to think and how to act, and under no circumstances should you present them with ready-made solutions that will probably not even work in practice.
Instead, approach your kids like they’re adults and simply be open with them.
2. Don’t argue in front of them
This is probably the worst thing you could do – arguing and fighting in front of your kids is wrong on so many levels, and it’s something you should never do.
This can create psychological traumas for them and basically ruin their lives for good. Most parents don’t understand this, but children can sense their tension and their anger, so whatever you do, don’t argue if your kids are around.
If you still fail to do this and say something bad about your spouse in front of your children, try to repair the damage straight away.
Them you still love them even though you don’t care for your spouse anymore, and make sure they know they’re not the problem or the cause of your issues.
Also, dedicate a certain place in your home, or outside of it, where you can have constructive conversations with your spouse and keep these conversations as far away from your kids as possible.
3. Get some counseling
Another effective way to protect your kids’ feelings and rights – even though this isn’t the most comfortable or simple solution out there – is getting some outside help.
If you’re unable to handle the situation on your own, get a lawyer who can mitigate and speak in your stead. Finding such a person might not always be easy, but deciding to do this will surely be good for your family and your kids in particular.
Fortunately, finding these people is now easier than ever. Lawyers and other specialists are everywhere around us, and the only thing you have to do is decide who to hire.
Getting a great divorce lawyer in the USA or finding amazing experts in family law from Sydney who will work for you and represent your needs is a great way to show your kids how to handle divorce like civilized people who don’t want to hurt their loved ones.
In the end, this is much better than spending months and years yelling at your spouse and letting your kids witness that sort of behavior on a daily basis.
4. Encourage them to follow their routine
The most important thing in your kids’ lives aren’t you and your soon-to-be-ex, but their own routine.
They get up at a certain time, go to school, have their extracurricular activities, hang out with their friends, spend time with you, watch TV, and then go to bed.
These things don’t always seem like the biggest deal in the world, but it’s just something your children do, so respecting their routine should be high on your list of priorities.
Instead of lamenting over the fact that you’re getting a divorce and talking to your kids about how bad you feel, you should focus on them and their daily activities.
After all, this isn’t about you, but about them, so try to follow their routine as much as possible. This is a way for them to feel normal instead of feeling strange and unloved, so keep encouraging them to do everything they’ve always been doing and follow them every step of the way.
Thinking about your children while your marriage is ending is hard, but it’s just something every good parent would do. Keeping them happy and protected takes a ton of energy and time, but it’s definitely worth it, so be sure to focus on them instead of thinking only about the things that concern you and your well-being.
If you manage to do that, your children will accept the divorce and learn how to live with it, and that’s something all separating parents want to accomplish.
Sophia Smith is a freelance graphic designer by day and a lifestyle blogger by night who loves to cook, drink coffee and create all things beautiful. She loves sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people. Over the years she wrote pieces for Women Love Tech, Legal Reader, Monterey Premier, Life Goals Mag, Sivana Spirit, Bonvita Style, Carousel and Cause Artist.