You and your husband have known for some time that your marriage was coming to an end. Your children, however, are another story. Chances are that they have no idea it is coming. And while you have faith that your children will eventually adapt to the new situation, you know that the divorce process is going to be just as hard on them as it will be on you.
Just as you have taken steps to emotionally and financially to prepare yourself for the split, you will also need to take steps to prepare your children. Read further for some tips to help your children cope with your impending divorce.
Telling your children
When it comes time to tell your children that you and your husband have decided to go your separate ways, the two of you should do it together. Be sure you have plenty of time to talk with your children after you break the news. They will more than likely have many questions and be very emotional. You and your husband should also take time to discuss how and what you will tell them prior to the day.
Hiding things from your children can cause additional tension in the household and lead to a very dramatic scene when they find out what is going on. When you tell your children about the divorce, be open and honest about the changes they can expect, how the process works and what their lives will be like as a result. Also, be sure to keep them in the loop as the divorce progresses. Not knowing can have a negative effect on their ability to cope with the situation.
Make it clear that it is not their fault
When something bad happens, even as adults, we often wonder what we did wrong or what we could have done to change things. Your children will probably feel the same when you tell them about the divorce. They may feel like they did something wrong that made the two of you split up. Take as much time as possible in order reassure your children that the divorce is not their fault. This might mean each of you spending extra time with them and showing more affection.
Keep the conflict separate
Do not expose your children to any conflict that you and your future ex-spouse are experiencing. This means not fighting in front of them, speaking ill of each other to or around the children, or using them as a revenge tactic. Also, be prepared to negotiate when it comes to custody and visitation. Your children will want to spend time with each of you and you will have to work out a viable parenting plan.
If you are considering divorce, there are several things you can do to prepare your children before stepping into a Rhode Island divorce court. Whether it is spending extra time together or attending counseling sessions, there are many strategies you can use to help your children cope with the divorce before, during and after the process.