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Helping Your Child Through Divorce

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Vanessa Blaxland, MFTi.

With almost 50% of marriages ending in divorce, there are thousand of kids experiencing the effects of divorce each year.  Some children may act out, while others choose to withdraw.  Some experience sadness, frustration, or anger.  How a child reacts to a divorce will vary and depends on their age, personality, and situation.  Unfortunately, either way divorce will have some effect on a child as they are learning to navigate changes in the family.

There are ways to help your child adjust as smoothly as possible and cope with the changes that are or will be occurring due to the divorce.  Here are some tips to help support your children through this difficult time for the family.

1. This is a difficult time for everyone involved.  You need help and support just as much as your children do.  However, it’s important not to make your child your therapist.  Instead, keep venting and negative discussion about your ex-partner limited to your adult friends and family, or your own therapist.

2. Kids need structure even when a family is not going through a divorce.  But when there is a disruption in the family system they need it more than ever.  It’s important to keep you children’s daily routine as normal as possible.  The least amount of disruption in your child’s daily structure will help them adjust to other changes brought on by the divorce or separation.

3. It’s important not to let your children see you and your ex arguing, fighting, or talking about sensitive issues or legal matters.  Instead, try to agree that matters related to the divorce will be discussed outside of the children’s home or when the children are not there.

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