All too often, children are the innocent victims of divorce. Divorce can be an extremely traumatising and upsetting experience for children that could lead to behavioural and psychological problems down the line. This is why it is so incredibly important that parents take active measures to shield their children from the negative impacts of divorce. In today’s article, we have a look at some ways in which you can limit the impact on your children when filing for divorce, so read on to find out more.
1: Make A Plan To Communicate What Is Happening
According to family lawyers in Melbourne, making a plan that involves clearly communicating with your children about what is happening is key. If your decision to file for divorce is final, it is important that you explain this to your children. One of the key points to take note of is that you should never put the blame on their other parent. It is also important that you speak to all your children together and ensure that what you are communicating to them is fully understood. Keeping your children in the loop is a great way to ensure that they don’t feel blindsided or feel like they are to blame for your divorce.
2: It’s Not Their Fault
Studies have shown that sadly, a large majority of children who have been affected by divorce tend to think that they somehow had a part to play in what happened. This is especially common in children under the age of 7. Young children tend to view things from a limited and self-focused perspective, which is why it is of utmost importance that you ensure they know that your decision to file for divorce is not their fault. If time isn’t allowed to discuss the separation, it is not uncommon for children to come to their own conclusions about it.
3: Don’t Argue In Front Of The Kids
Divorce can be an incredibly stressful process for you and your partner, but in order to lessen the negative impact on your children, it is important that you avoid arguing or fighting in front of them. Watching parents fight can be an extremely traumatic experience for children, let alone when the arguments are about a separation. Whilst a stressful situation such as divorce makes it difficult to contain emotions, it is crucial that you shield your children from the negativity of your arguments in order to prevent them from feeling like their whole world is crashing down in front of them.
4: Don’t Make Them Take Sides
As tempting as it may be to disparage your partner during this tempestuous time, doing so will only cause more harm than good. When filing for divorce, it is important that you never make your children take sides. This includes not criticising the other parent in front of them or trying to source information about the other parent from your children. In the child’s best interest, it is recommended that you positively promote the other parent and ensure them that even though you are separating, you still respect each other and love the children the same regardless.
5: Carry On With Routines As Per Normal
Last but certainly not least, it is important that your children carry on with their routines as per normal. During the divorce process, it is important that children go to school and have meals with the family as per normal. Divorce is a huge change, especially for kids, which is why keeping up with a set routine is important. When the time comes for you and your partner to physically separate, it is also important that the children are affected as little as possible when it comes to their usual routines and activities.
Divorce is never a pleasant experience for anyone involved. However, by taking some of the steps listed above, you will be able to limit the impact it has on not just your children but also yourself in the long run.