Breaking up and going through a divorce is a difficult task, even more so when children get caught in the middle. Not only must you figure out how to deal with your own feelings, but it is also important to ensure your children are coping with the situation well. Allowing yourself to cope with a break-up or divorce encourages your children to make the same transition into healing, and it will also encourage them to keep your line of communication open.
Communicate your feelings. It's important to discuss your feelings on the subject with friends, because it reminds you that you have others there to support you and makes you feel less alone. Encourage your children to voice their feelings on the subject as well; they will have the same feeling when you hear their words.
Expect a range of emotions for both you and your child. After a break-up or divorce, you will feel angry, sad, confused and a range of other feelings, and your children will feel the same way. This is normal; even breaking away from an unhealthy relationship can be a frightening venture.
Assure your children. Tell your children that the divorce is not their fault and that both you and your ex-spouse will both still be in their lives. Support your child's relationship with your ex-spouse; though you may no longer be married, your ex-spouse is still the parent of your child.
Keep a positive mind. In such sensitive times, children need to hear certain things. For example, your children may feel guilty if you fight with your ex-spouse, regardless of the reason. This includes when your ex-spouse isn't around. Your children don't want you to speak negatively of your ex-spouse; after all, he is still their parent.
Grieve, and allow your children to grieve with you. A divorce isn't just the end of a relationship; it's the end of planned commitments and a loss, and everyone involved in the process will need to grieve that loss.
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- While most children can cope and heal with a divorce, some may require professional help.