As a divorced parent, Troy Van Sickle knows that helping children through the process in an emotionally intelligent manner helps kids become happier and more secure adults later on. Though it can be challenging for the entire family, there are a number of techniques and tactics that parents can use to ensure that children are able to process emotions in a safe and healthy way.
- Encourage your children to speak openly and honestly about what they’re feeling and experiencing. Many kids will internalize a divorce as a fault of their own and can have difficulty expressing it. Provide them with lots of opportunities to verbalize these inner thoughts in a judgement-free manner. Let them know that their feelings matter.
- Keep personal details that shed a negative light on the other parent to yourself. Children in many cases aren’t meant to feel like they should take sides, but speaking badly about their parent naturally puts a pressure on kids to decide what is correct and what’s incorrect. The most important thing is that they know they are loved by both parents. All legal conversations should take place without the children present.
- Try to avoid any disruptions to your children’s daily routines. Drastic changes in every realm of life are scary and confusing for kids. The more stability, the better. Some parents have even gone so far to let the kids stay in the same home while the parents rotate their schedules and seek out new housing.