It is often the children who suffer the most in a divorce, which can be stressful and confusing, so we need to provide stability,while engaging the child in a positive way. By setting routines a young person can rely on, you are building a feeling of security, and by being a patient listener, you will discover their hidden fears, and be able to reassure them about the separation.
Hopefully you and your partner are on speaking terms, so talk about access, as both of you need to maintain contact on a regular basis. It is important to avoid conflict in the presence of the children, as this will only strengthen their insecurity, so try to maintain a friendly atmosphere when you are all together. Fortunately, most divorces are amicable, which saves the children from emotional trauma. If the relationship has reached a point where you both prefer to let the lawyers handle matters, and you are looking for family lawyers in Melbourne, an online search will put you in touch with an expert, who can give you the best advice on how to minimise the effect on the children.
Tell the truth
Invariably your children will want to know why you are divorcing, and it pays to be honest. So give them a child-friendly version of the reasons why, and they will appreciate your honesty. It is advisable to sit with your partner and plan this discussion in advance, as it is better to show unity in their presence. One must also take the child’s age into consideration, so “Mummy and daddy don’t get along anymore” is probably enough for a four year old.
Tell them you love them
This is always a good thing to do, but even more so after a separation. With the insecurity that change brings, children need reassurance at times like this. Continue to do the little things like helping with homework, or reading a bedtime story, as the continuation of existing routines will help the children to adjust.
Acknowledge their feelings
This is essential, as it shows that you care, and young people are more inclined to expect a response, so make sure you listen carefully when they speak, and try to be positive in your outlook. An open display of affection will make the child feel loved, so be loving, and try to maintain a level of consistency.
Clear up misunderstandings
In many cases, the child thinks they had something to do with the break up, so this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It is natural for a young mind to assume such things, so you need to be very clear that they were in no way to blame. At the same time, explain how life will be a little different from now on, but we all still love each other, as before, it is just the circumstances that have changed. If possible, it is wise to show affection to your partner in the child’s company, as this will also reassure them.