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Helping your kids adjust to life changes after a divorce

Divorce can ultimately lead to a healthier situation for some families. However, a divorce also comes along with many changes to schedules, living situations and family dynamics which your children may find overwhelming.

Finding a new normal for your family means paying extra attention to your children’s needs after the divorce occurs.

Understand your children’s feelings

If you have gone through a divorce you likely feel stressed and overwhelmed, and it makes sense that children experience similar feelings. No matter how old your kids are, they may feel guilt, confusion, anger and sadness. It is ok for kids to feel these things, and you should support them in working through it until they have adjusted to the new situation.

Help your children adjust

Helping your kids starts with taking their thoughts and feelings seriously. Set aside time to focus on them and stay involved in their daily activities. If at all possible you should try to avoid divorce-related arguments or talking negatively about your ex-spouse around the kids. Instead, focus on their needs and answer any questions they may have. Encourage them to be open with you and help them express themselves as much as possible. Make sure they feel heard.

In many cases, the more successfully you can co-parent, the better off your children will be. This includes having a positive attitude towards your children spending time with the other parent and keeping the line of communication with your ex open. However, remember this advice does not apply to abusive situations, which require unique care.