Many parents understand that their children are trying to adapt to major changes after a divorce, but they may not realize how significantly the divorce has affected them. Some children will feel significant grief over the divorce. Others will be stressed and anxious about the changes that have been made. Others may become hypervigilant about being on time or sticking close with their parents during visitation days.
At any age, it is a shock to the system to deal with a divorce. The reality is that divorce is rarely simple, and there will be some amount of hardship for children and their parents alike. What can you do to help? Here are three ideas.
Become a source of reassurance
The first thing you can do is focus on becoming a source of reassurance for your child. That means saying what you mean and doing what you say on time, every time. Help them see that changes have happened, but you’re still consistent.
Start listening to their concerns
If you haven’t really sat down to listen to your child’s concerns, it’s time to do so. Sit down and just listen to what they have to say without judgment. Are they worried about not getting to the other parent’s house on time? Do they worry about not seeing friends regularly? Are they upset that they don’t have a toy at both households that they love? Find out the core issues, so you can begin to address them.
Consider speaking with a therapist
Finally, consider speaking with a therapist. Children’s therapists can help your child work through anger, grief and other emotions, so they can begin feeling like themselves again.
These are three good tips for helping your child after divorce. It may take time for them to adjust, but they can with the right support.