The King Law Firm, PLLC
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Five tips for helping your child adjust to divorce

Parents in Gulfport who are in the midst of a divorce may be most concerned about how their dissolution will affect their kids. While divorce may be initially difficult for a child, children are resilient and there are ways parents can help their children adjust to divorce. The following tips may help parents help their children navigate the waters of divorce.

Keep any explanations simple

First, when discussing the divorce, keep things simple and straightforward. If both parents are able to discuss the divorce together with their child, this may help the child better understand the situation. It can also help to ensure a parent lets their child know in advance that they will be moving out. Having the child visit that parent’s new home and see where their room will be can help.

Reassure your children they are still loved

Second, children will need reassurances that they are still loved by each of their parents. In addition, explain how their new living arrangements will work and when they will be in each parent’s care. For younger children, acting out the new living arrangements with toys may help them understand these changes. Older children may benefit from a calendar that lists when they will be in each parent’s care.

Make sure your children know that it is okay to be sad or angry

Divorce is initially naturally upsetting to most children. Children should be reassured that they do not have to deal with these feelings on their own. Parents should let their children know that they can discuss their anger and sadness with them, rather than bottling up their emotions. An ongoing conversation about the divorce can help reassure children that their parents accept them even if they are experiencing negative emotions about the divorce.

Let your children know the divorce is not their fault

Children sometimes feel that things they said or did caused the divorce. Parents should reassure their children that the divorce is not their fault. Divorce may cause a child to misbehave, withdraw or regress in milestones. With the right support, these symptoms will go away as the child adjusts to the divorce.

Avoid badmouthing your ex

It may be tempting to badmouth your ex, but parents should avoid doing so in front of their children. After all, a child loves both parents even if they are divorced. They should not be put in a position where they feel like they have to be loyal to one parent or the other.

Learn more about child custody and divorce

Divorce can be a difficult situation for both parents and children, but there are ways parents can help make these changes easier for the child to adjust to. Ultimately, divorce is often in the best interests of the entire family. Our firm’s webpage on child custody may be of interest to parents seeking a divorce.