It is well understood that when their parents divorce, kids experience almost always suffer from increased stress. Even when kids understand that filing for divorce is the healthiest way forward for everyone involved, this situation is inherently tough for kids to process.
Thankfully, there are things that a child’s parents can do to make this major life transition easier for them. Some parents are able to reach a mutual agreement about how they want their child’s custody and parenting plan arrangements structured. Others need to have their differences resolved in court. Ideally, parents will work to ensure that the burdens of either process are kept off of their children’s shoulders.
Setting healthy boundaries
It is critically important that you engage in meaningful self-care during this time. Otherwise, the ways in which you process your grief and frustration could “come out sideways” and affect your children in unhealthy ways.
This isn’t to say that you should hide the fact that you’re going through a rough time from your kids. In fact, by showing your kids how to process grief and frustration in healthy ways, you can set a good example for them in later life. However, you’ll need to set healthy boundaries in this regard. For example, venting about your ex will stress your kid out, even if they don’t tell you that it is tough for them to hear.
Acceptance and assistance
Another meaningful way to help your children during your divorce is to accept that their stress – whether conscious, unconscious or both – is going to affect them in a myriad of ways. By accepting that their grief and frustration are going to affect them in expected and unexpected ways, you can be better prepared to assist them.
Divorce is tough on everyone in the family. By keeping the idea of healthy boundaries and gracious acceptance of your children’s stress, you can better serve as a meaningful source of support.