Pennsylvania parents like you value your child’s health and happiness above all else. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to ensure that your child’s well-being stays maintained. There are some situations in which it is incredibly hard to put their mental health first.
Divorce is one of those situations. If you have come to the decision that divorce is the best option for everyone, you still have to break the news to your child. This alone is often damaging. Is there any way to mitigate some of this damage?
Remove the element of surprise from divorce
Psychology Today discusses the importance of having an open dialogue with your child about divorce. Much of the trauma associated with divorce comes from the elements of surprise. Telling them about the divorce from an early point in time can remove some of the surprise factor and make it easier for them to digest. It gives them more time to process and cope at their own speed, too.
Addressing your child’s fear of the unknown
Another big issue is a fear of the unknown. Children do not know what their lives will look like moving forward. They have no sense of certainty. They do not know what to expect. Their lives are about to change forever and this alone is frightening. You can help alleviate some of this stress by answering their questions. Being forthcoming with appropriate information helps, too. For example, let them know who will be moving out of the house and what visitation schedules may look like.
Of course, it is important to maintain a degree of separation, too. You must know where to draw the line and what information you do not want to share. Be sure to discuss that with your co-parent before going into action.