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How can you help your kids cope with an amicable divorce?

In the long run, an amicable divorce in California is healthier for everyone affected, including you, your ex-spouse and your children. However, in the absence of obvious indicators for divorce that children can understand, such as drug use or domestic violence, kids may feel bewildered by the end of your relationship that, from their perspective, seems unnecessary and comes entirely out of the blue. 

According to Psych Central, there are steps that you and your ex-spouse can take to help your children cope. However, it is a process to which you must dedicate yourselves on a long-term basis. It can take years for children to understand and accept the dissolution of your marriage. In some cases, children can only gain the necessary perspective by growing up and experiencing adult relationships of their own. 

While you cannot speed up the coping process, you and your spouse can cooperate to provide stability for your children even as you undergo adjustments to your routines. You can listen to your children and validate the emotions that they are feeling, and you can show understanding and empathy. 

It is a good idea to prepare yourself for the types of reactions you are likely to receive from your children in response to your divorce. These reactions are likely to occur at different times in your child’s development rather than all at once. 

  • Threats of bad behavior to force parents to reunite
  • Fantasies about bringing parents back together
  • Fears that they somehow caused the divorce
  • Anxiety about the parent deciding to “divorce” the child
  • Accusations of blame against one parent or the other

Knowing what you may have to expect ahead of time can help you prepare responses that are loving and age appropriate while setting firm boundaries and not encouraging false hope or bad behavior. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to keep the lines of communication open between you and your children and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.