Divorce impacts all facets of your life and the lives of your children. If you do not keep your kid’s mental health in mind during the process, you may find that your children have been deeply impacted by the process.
A solid foundation
Your kids need structure and routine. When there are major life changes, it can shake their core beliefs. Divorce can damage their notions of family and stability.
Normalize and familiarize
The first step is to normalize divorce and familiarize your children with the process. This begins with an honest discussion with your children. Let them ask questions and you answer, frankly.
Make sure they understand that it is not their fault and what will happen next. You want to demystify it to take the fear of it away.
Make sure you the media you consume, like books, television and movies, have positive representations of parenting post-divorce. If divorce is normalized, they will not be afraid of it.
Make sure your kids feel at home
Losing the family home can be traumatic itself, so it is important that the child feels at home in both of their new places.
This starts from the very beginning. Let them be part of the packing and let them save those items that are important to them. Involve them in the home shopping or apartment picking process. Let them ask questions, give feedback and be a true participant.
Once your new home is selected, make the children part of decorating it. Let them pick out furniture and art. You want to give them physical ownership of the space, which, when combined with the emotional buy in from your earlier efforts, can truly make these new homes feel like home. This can build a new foundation.
As you co-parent, make sure that you do not speak ill of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Maintain your New Jersey parenting plan, and work together to make sure your child feels like they are part of their family.
With the help of therapy (family and single), these efforts can mitigate any potential negative effects divorce can have on your children.