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3 Ways to Reassure Your Kids After a Divorce

Children take divorce hard. That’s not an old wives’ tale. It’s something that has been proven out case-by-case, study-after-study. That’s not to say that it’s something that has to haunt them forever, though. In fact, you have a lot of say in the direction that it takes them in life, so try to make sure they’re on the right path with the following reassurances.

1. Let them know unequivocally that it isn’t their fault. 

Kids can often feel like they’re the reasons Mom and Dad are getting a divorce, and it’s not really a message that we as parents are innocent of sending. When you let the stress and animosity of your marriage spill out onto the child or for the child to see and that ends up in divorce, what else can they think? Make sure that you and your spouse are making time to explain the drive behind the divorce. It may mean a difficult conversation where you can no longer shield the child from the realities of life, but it beats the alternative of having them accept all the blame that isn’t theirs to begin with.

2. Express to them that they are still Mom and Dad’s number one priority, and that neither of you will love them less after the divorce is final. 

Children need to hear and be shown that they are loved, and you can do that by taking the time to express it to them together and individually every chance that you get. That doesn’t mean they will immediately understand the divorce, but they will believe that you are not going to forget them; that you will still look at them as the gifts that they are. 

3. Show them a stable home wherever they’re staying. 

This is easier said than done but definitely necessary. The older a child gets, the wiser he will become. And with wisdom comes experimentation. One of the areas they’re likely to experiment in is playing Mom and Dad against one another to get their way. While this may feel like a short-term game for them, none of you win when that happens. What the child is really trying to show is that he yearns for discipline and stability. He yearns for a Mom and Dad, who will care enough about him to rein him in. When you fail to work together as co-parents, he may get his way in the short term, but he’ll lose his way in the long term, and will probably grow to resent you for it. So make sure that wherever he’s staying, he has to follow the same set of rules and standards. Approach disciplinary actions as a team. Even if you could not work together to save the marriage, you should still be able to work together to guide your child.

What were/are some common fears that your children have felt/are feeling through divorce? What reassurances have you given that were effective? Sound off in the comments section!

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