No matter what you do, a divorce will affect your children. How you handle the divorce and the interaction with your spouse may positively or negatively impact their emotions. Here are three ways to keep the negative changes to a minimum.
1. Talk to your children
Researchers say that children will handle divorce in different ways depending on their age, so you and your spouse should take this into account when discussing what is happening. For example, if you have children between the ages of four and eight, give them physical comfort, such as hugs and hand-holding. Whereas for teenagers, give them straight answers and let them know they can come to you for questions.
2. Avoid speaking badly about the other parent
Try not to place blame on your spouse or say whose fault it is that the two of you are getting a divorce. Doing this may make the children feel as though they need to choose a side. Your children may have a lot of anger and side with the parent they think did no wrong or who they feel safest with. As you continue to talk with them about the divorce, you may want to reassure them you and your spouse both take responsibility for it.
3. Keep the routine
With so many changes happening in your household, at some point, the daily routine may fall to the wayside. Try to minimize disruptions and keep as close to the regular schedules and habits as much as possible. Eventually, one parent will not be in the house, but your children still need that one-on-one time. Try to accommodate your spouse while not abruptly changing your children’s everyday routine.