Divorce is a challenging and emotionally taxing experience for the whole family. Separation and divorce often lead to significant changes in your child’s life. This may potentially cause your child to feel stressed, confused and anxious.
As a parent, it is essential to support your child through the adjustment period of post-divorce life in the following ways.
1. Encourage health coping mechanisms
Encourage your child to develop healthy ways to cope with their feelings. This could include activities such as meditation, exercise or journaling. It is also essential to incorporate these health coping mechanisms yourself for your mental health and as an example your child will look to.
2. Maintain a routine
Your family dynamic can change significantly post-divorce, which can feel unsettling for your child. Maintaining as close to a steady routine as possible can provide a sense of predictability and stability. You can stick to a regular schedule for mealtimes, homework, activities and bedtime.
3. Communicate with your child
Talk to your child openly and honestly at an age-appropriate level. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. Listen to them without judgment. Talk to them about what is happening and what they can expect. You want to demonstrate to them that their feelings are valid and you are there for support.
4. Seek professional help if needed
If you or your child struggle to adjust to your new normal, do not hesitate to seek mental health help. This might include family therapy or counseling for your children. There is no shame in seeking help, as mental health assistance can benefit everyone involved.
Remember to remain patient, supportive and understanding as you and your child figure out the next steps of life together.