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You can help your child through divorce

Divorce is hard for everyone involved, but for children, it can seem like their worlds are falling apart. You know that your child might not react to the divorce the way you expect, but how can you make it easier for him or her?

The most important thing is to make sure your children know they are loved, even though you and your spouse no longer want to be together. Sometimes, children assume they're to blame, which ends up hurting their self-esteem. Remind your children that they are a good part of your life and that the divorce will have positive effects, too.

One problem that you might come across later is having a visitation day where your ex doesn't show up. As a parent of a child, this is a constant fear. If this is something that happens consistently, or even if not, have a backup plan. For example, if your ex was supposed to show up at 7:00 p.m. to go to a movie with your child, say you'll wait until 8:00 p.m. If he or she doesn't show up, then do an alternative activity with your child and make sure he or she knows you're listening. You may want to say something about how you know it's disappointing, but make sure you don't place blame.

A final way to help your children through the divorce is to make sure you and your spouse both communicate well with them. Let them know they are loved. Listen to the things they have to say about the divorce. Kids who express themselves feel more in control, which helps them adjust.

Our website has more on divorce, custody and other related issues. You have enough on your plate, and your attorney can help you handle the legal side of matters.

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