4 tips to help you guide your “little pumpkins” through your divorce

The divorce doesn’t have to be traumatic for your kids. Photo by Lydia Winters via Unsplash.

Although this blog is about divorce finances, today we discuss how to help children through the process. Divorce is hard on everyone, but you are the adult. Putting the kids first will get you to the right answer, which can be hard in the heat of the moment.

If you and/or your kids need additional help from a therapist, don’t be ashamed to ask for it.

As Suze Orman says, “People first, then money.”

1.Tell them what’s going on

Your children notice when something’s wrong. They tend to think they’re the center of the universe. They might think it’s their fault that parents are having problems.

Being honest with them in age-appropriate way will help them understand it’s not their fault, along with your reassurances.

Not telling them anything until the last minute is only going to increase their anxiety.

2. Don’t bad-mouth the other spouse

You may be experiencing very strong feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness, etc. That’s perfectly natural. But letting these feelings get in the way of the kids’ relationship with the other parent isn’t good for anyone long-term.

Having said that, you don’t have to pretend everything’s OK either. Your children know something’s going on. But you can be factual about it. For example, if your spouse has a substance abuse problem, you don’t have to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist. You can tell your kids that their your co-parent is having a problem that makes it hard for the family to stay together (again, in age-appropriate language.)

3. Kids aren’t tools

They’re not there for you to gain leverage over your spouse. They’re not toys for use in a tug o’war against the other parent. They’re still people, and usually scared people, in a divorce. Your kids are also not adults. You and your co-parent have to be the adults in this situation.

And if your spouse can’t be an adult, you still have to be the adult.

4.Kids aren’t a therapist’s couch

Older children can handle more information than younger children, but they don’t need to know every feeling you’re having. They shouldn’t be asked to step into a parent’s role just because you or your spouse is feeling overwhelmed. A (dependent) son is a child, not a father or husband. He doesn’t need to take on those roles.

Sure, you probably need help around the house. It’s perfectly acceptable for children to do chores. It’s good for them to take on some responsibility. However, they shouldn’t lose their chance to be children. Or grow up too fast because their parents aren’t accepting their responsibilities as adults. So don’t lean on them for emotional support.

If this is too hard

Managing your own feelings, and helping your children with theirs, can be almost paralyzing for some. If your family can assist you during this time, that’s great. Though you need to be careful they’re not bashing your co-parent either. There are plenty of support groups for those going through divorce, and parents going through the process.

Summary

When trying to make decisions, put the children first. What will their lives be like down the road if you make one decision versus another? There’s help for you if you need or want it, so take advantage of it. Be the parent your child needs during the divorce.

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Find out how to be the CEO of your divorce here.

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Jennifer Jank

Jennifer Jank

Unlocking The Secrets To Business Achievement With More Life Balance For Women ⎸Speaker ⎸Productivity Queen ⎸Ghostwriter ⎸Author ⎸Pun Lover