4 Ways that Moms Can Help Their Kids Deal with a Divorce or Separation

Many marriages and partnerships end up continuing till death do you part. As a mother, it’s probably what you want: to stay with the person you love throughout your life. That way, the two of you will have lots of time to spend with each other, and your kids will have two caring parents in their lives. 

 

However, it does not always work out that way. You might end up growing apart from your spouse or partner, and if that happens, it’s going to be hard on both you and your kids. You might worry about how your children are going to feel and react to this change. 

Below are four suggestions for how you can help your kids cope with a separation or divorce. 

Tell Them You’ll Still Love Them and Be There for Them 

If you’re in a particularly toxic relationship, then the first thing you’ll probably want to do is contact a lawyer and work out the divorce or separation details as quickly as possible. If you and your partner didn’t marry, there is less of a legal entanglement, and you can each go your separate ways much easier.  

Your kids will experience some confusion. They’re probably not sure what’s happening. They just understand that things are changing, and not in a way they’ll like. 

Before you take any further action, you should talk to them and inform them plainly what’s going on. You don’t need to get into any explicit details about why you and your spouse or partner are splitting up. Even if you feel some bitterness because of a particularly acrimonious divorce or separation, there’s no need to tell the kids any details. 

You might tell them that you and your spouse or partner have grown apart and that you want different things. You can tell the kids that happens sometimes and reassure them it’s not their fault. You can also tell them you still love them, and you will always be there for them. 

You Can Avoid Fighting in Front of Them 

Part of splitting up will likely involve either your spouse or partner leaving your living situation or them staying where they are while you find a new living space. You’ll probably work quickly to make that happen, but until you figure out the details, make sure you don’t fight in front of the kids. 

This is already traumatic enough for them, and yelling or angry words you say in front of them will negatively affect them. If you and your partner or spouse are having a dispute, make sure you either talk about it behind closed doors or you speak civilly if the kids are within hearing range. 

Set Up a Stable Visitation Schedule 

The next thing you can do is work out a stable visitation schedule between you and your ex-spouse or partner. You might get full or partial custody. You’ll need to work that out with your former spouse or partner, and you will probably need to involve lawyers and the court system. 

The one thing you want to avoid is a constantly changing visitation schedule. It’s much better for your kids, regardless of their ages, if they can quickly learn where they will be on any given day. With so much in their lives changing so rapidly, they can at least know what their days will be like in the weeks and months to come. 

Allow Your Kids Therapy Access 

You should also allow your kids therapy access if at all possible. If your kids are too young to understand much of what’s happening, you won’t need to do this. If they’re old enough to comprehend the basics of what’s taking place, then talking to someone to help process their feelings is usually a smart idea. 

If your kids can speak to a therapist, they can work through some of the emotions with which they’re dealing. You can be there for them if they want to talk, but it’s often better if they have an impartial non-relative. They may want to vocalize some things that they don’t feel like they can say to you. 

This will be an adjustment time for both you and your kids. You know the reasons why you and your spouse or partner decided to call it quits, but your children might not ever understand them completely. Hopefully, in time, all of you will start to feel better about the situation. 

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