Throughout your child's life, they will have to adjust to change. This can be something like going to a new school or your going through a divorce. Helping them when this is going on can be difficult, but no parent wants to watch as their kids struggle to make sense of the new reality and find healthy ways to cope.
Sea changes in their world, like divorce, can be monumentally impactful on their lives, now and in the future. If you notice that your child is having trouble coping with this major change, consider these tips to help them work through it and adjust to the new way of life:
Encourage them to talk about their feelings
Some children have trouble expressing their feelings. If you think that your child is acting in an uncharacteristic manner, sit down and talk. Help them find the words to express their feelings. Make sure you tell them they won't be in trouble for how they feel.
Discuss their concerns
Children will sometimes start to believe that they are responsible for the divorce. They will think that they could have done something to stop the split. While you know this isn't true, they might not accept that the adults in the situation are the only people who could have changed things.
Often, there is more to these thoughts than what seems evident at first. They could be grasping at a way to keep things the same or may need some extra attention. Ask open-ended questions about what they are concerned with.
They might be worried about how they will spend time with both parents. They are probably wondering if both parents will still attend major events like graduations. If those are their concerns, now is likely be a good time to discuss the parenting time and custody order.
Check on them
Even if your children seem to be adjusting well when they are with you, check on how they are doing in other areas. Contact their teachers to ask if there have been any issues since the split. This gives you a chance to let teachers know about the divorce so that they might be able to support your children, too.
A lot of what your children will think about the situation has to do with your attitude. If you are able to remain positive and help them see the good things that can happen now, they may adopt that same outlook. If there are things that are especially challenging, be prepared to work a little harder to find the good. If possible, have your ex work on keeping this atmosphere up when they have the children.