If you are sitting at home thinking about ending your marriage, then you’re probably concerned about a lot of things: breaking the news to your spouse, dividing marital assets, and facing the uncertainty of a new beginning. Yet, your primary worry might be focused on how divorce will affect your children, which is a legitimate concern. After all, this is a delicate matter that can have a tremendous negative impact on your children if handled incorrectly.
But there are things you can do to minimize the affect of marriage dissolution on your children. First, you’ll need to come up with a plan to tell your children about the divorce. They will be upset and may even try to blame one parent, but you and the your spouse need to send a clear message that the divorce is no one’s fault, certainly not the children’s. Also, avoid speaking negatively about the other parent and giving false hope about reconciliation. If you engage it that kind of talk it can only further harm your children. Additionally, reassure your children that they are loved and that it’s okay to be emotional.
Second, avoid fighting in front of your children and instead focus on crafting an effective co-parenting plan. Witnessing domestic disturbances can cause children to develop a number of emotional and mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. So do your best to keep fights with your spouse away from the kids. When you’re able to refocus that energy toward developing a co-parenting plan, you support your children’s emotional and physical needs, thereby giving them a sense of security. So, as difficult as it may seem, it might be helpful to build up your children’s other parent when talking about him or her with your children.
This is all easier said than done, of course, and there are other questions that may keep you up at night, such as how to tell your children when you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend. As stressful as this all can be, there can be a positive outcome. To achieve it, you’ll need to carefully weigh your options and surround yourself with those who support you, but in the end you’ll have to make the decision that is best for you and your children. So, before moving forward, inform yourself and be as prepared as you can for the road ahead.