Children don't always understand why their parents do the things they do. They may blame themselves for things they had nothing to do with or believe that their parents dislike or hate them even though that thought has never crossed their parents' minds.
When a divorce begins, children may not be sure how to handle it. It's a responsibility of parents to make sure the children involved feel loved and are taken care of as much as possible during this difficult time. In a child's eyes, a divorce may seem like the end of the world.
How can you help reduce trauma from the divorce?
1. Don't fight in front of your kids
The first thing you can do to reduce the trauma of a divorce is to take any arguments outside. Don't fight near or around your children. Children are perceptive and know when their parents are angry or suffering. Avoid that traumatic sensation in the home by communicating about conflicts only when your child isn't present.
2. Spend time with your child for reassurance
Your child needs to know that he or she is important to you. That means that both parents need to spend time with the child during a divorce. Taking time to talk about the divorce and to reassure your child of his or her place in your heart and home works wonders in preventing lasting trauma.
3. Give your child the right to decide on contacting the other parent
Finally, unless there is a safety reason not to do so, allow your child to contact the other parent when he or she needs to. Cutting off contact can make child feel like they are doing something wrong by talking to their mom or dad. Instead of being strict about when they call or video chat, be open to what your children need to be comfortable. Contacting the other parent during the divorce, even when your child is with you, might be what he or she needs to do to feel connected.
These are a few tips for reducing strain on your child and lowering the risk of trauma related to divorce. With love and support, your child will make it through this transition.