The divorce process is emotional for all parties involved, including your children. Children have less control over their emotions, compared to adults and divorce can be confusing and scary for kids of all ages. While divorce can have an emotional impact, it is often the better choice because kids with combative parents fare worse than those with divorced parents.
Understanding how your child might respond to the divorce can help you take a step back, breathe and help your kids get through the emotional turmoil.
Expect your child to feel angry
Do not be surprised if your child expresses anger. The world is challenging enough, but divorce is a significant change for your kids. Kids may feel as though they have no control over their world. Let your children know that their anger is okay and that their feelings are normal. The more willing your kids are to open up to you, the more likely they are to cope with the feelings in the long term.
You should only worry about your child’s anger if it feels out of control or if your child has more anger towards you than your ex-spouse.
Expect kids’ patterns to change
Children in most age groups will undergo behavioral and routine changes. They may have difficulty sleeping or have more anxiety. Some kids will also regress, so you might have an older child who believes in monsters or becomes afraid to sleep alone. Remember that all kids process emotions and complex life changes in their own time. Try to maintain a similar routine to make the transition easier for your kids.
When it comes to divorce, stay kind to yourself. Your kids need you to remain strong and stable.