Taking Care Of The Kids As You Navigate A Divorce

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If your marriage breaks down it can be extremely painful, a huge knock to your confidence and emotionally draining. When children are involved, it is even harder. Moving them out of their family home or explaining that mom and dad won’t be living together anymore affects children in many different ways. Often people say if you know you are heading for divorce, do it before your children reach 3/4 or wait until they are in their teens. No matter when you choose to divorce, it will always be a sensitive matter for your children. Let’s take a look at how to take care of the kids as you navigate through a divorce.



Divorce Mediation

Attending divorce mediation is a great way to work out mutually the best way to proceed that is beneficial to your children. Without involving the courts in custody battles and visitation rights, it helps if you can come to a peaceful agreement together. Divorce mediation works on keeping the lines of communication open. It helps to create a better relationship for you and your spouse and the future of your children. Mediation is the best way to resolve any conflict and helps you to keep control of your family’s arrangements in the smoothest way possible.

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How Does Divorce Affect Children?

As parents, when you are thinking about getting divorced one of the main worries is, how will it affect the children? Will they hate us? Will they hate just one of us? Will their grades slip? Will they become angry and resentful? Will it change their view of future relationships? There are so many questions, and unfortunately no set in stone answer. Divorce affects each child differently. Some will actually feel relieved about divorce if they have witnessed constant arguing and unhappiness. Others will feel insecure if they don’t know where they will be staying each night of the week. Some may step up and look after their siblings more. The best thing you can do for your children is to talk to them openly and honestly about what divorce means and why you're choosing to separate. Children can rebel when a change occurs. They may play one parent off against the other. Or they may act up at school. At this point you and your ex need to put your negative feelings aside and create as much stability and happiness as possible. If you are concerned, children’s counseling should be an option.

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How Can You Help Your Children?

Be truthful about everything that is going on. If you are away from your children, always stay in touch on the phone. Get down with their language! Use FaceTime, SnapChat, Facebook… anything they use to interact socially, you should use with them too. You and your ex should still try and attend school events and sports days together. Keep up a healthy united front, so they still feel stability. If you or your ex have a new home, make sure they can decorate their bedroom how they want to. Don’t use money to buy your children’s love. Gain their respect instead through honesty and care. If children are emotionally upset, create a safe arena in which they can legitimize their feelings. And above all else, stay friends with your ex. Create a new kind of family unit that, although replacing the old one, might actually turn out a whole lot better.

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