I was recently at a local networking event and had a very interesting conversation with a divorce coach. If you’re anything like me, you may have a raised an eyebrow (my husband raised two when I came home and mentioned it) but stick with me for a moment.
No one plans for divorce. It’s not something that you think about while planning your nuptials and happily ever after. The awesome Divapreneur that I met understands and respects that, but she, also, realizes that divorce happens and having someone to guide and mentor you on the proper actions to take when emotions are high and rationale thinking may not be at it’s best.
When marriages break down, the people it’s hardest for are the kids. You might be in a lot of pain, after all, you’re losing your spouse, but remember your children are ‘losing’ a parent. Or at least, that’s how it feels to them. For children, breakups can feel like their whole world is falling apart and that life will never be good again. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that no matter how hurt and sad you are feeling, when it comes to your divorce, you always put your kids first.
No matter what’s happened between yourself and your ex-partner, aim to end things amicably. You might want to hurl abuse at your ex whenever you see them, but for your children’s sake, being amicable is a much better option. You might feel that your spouse doesn’t deserve to see your kids because they won’t agree to help you pay for them. But stop and ask yourself who you’re hurting by preventing them from seeing their kids – your children, that’s who.
Divorce is never going to be easy for anyone involved, but when it comes to the kids, it’s even harder for them. While getting divorced might be hard to deal with, there are plenty of ways you can make things easier for your kids. It’s not their fault you and your partner no longer get on, so the easier you can make things for them, the better.
Tell your children first
Before telling anyone else about your divorce, make sure to tell your children. It might be hard telling them but it’s better that they hear it from you and not someone else. Telling your kids that you and your partner are breaking up won’t be easy but it has to be done. Sit down with your children and explain that you and your spouse are no longer getting along so are going to separate.
The chances are your kids are going to be really upset when you tell them. They may shout, cry, get angry, or act out, all of these things are perfectly normal responses to the situation. However you children react to the news, don’t get angry at them, be understanding. Tell them that they can ask you whatever you want, no matter what it is.
Keep it out of the courts
If possible, try to keep your divorce out of the courts. Going to court is not only extremely stressful for everyone involved, but also incredibly expensive. To make the process as free-of-stress as possible – kids pick up on your stress, keep your divorce out of the courts. Instead, attempt to agree on the terms of your break up amicably. The key to this is being fair to one another and ensuring that both parties get a good deal, so to speak.
One of the simplest ways to make getting divorced easier and less stressful is to opt for an online divorce. All you have to do is send off the paperwork and the agreed terms to a specialist online divorce company. By doing this, your divorce will be quickly handled for you, making it as painless as possible. You won’t have to stress about going to court or anything like that, all you need to is send off the paperwork.
Use mediation to resolve conflict
The best way to resolve conflict between yourself and your ex-partner is to undergo mediation. Instead of taking your divorce issues to the courts, it’s best to have mediation. Regardless of what you are struggling to resolve, when kids are involved, mediation is always the best bet. There are all sorts of different specialists who you can consult, depending on what needs resolving.
The most common conflict in divorces is who will have the children. This can be incredibly difficult to work out, and can cause your children all sorts of stress and worry. For kids, often the most upsetting thing about family breakdowns is deciding where they want to live. This is made even worse when parents can’t decide on what would be best for their children. If this is the case, have family mediation instead of starting a custody court case. As this will only make things harder and more upsetting for your kids.
Be the bigger man
Once your divorce has been finalised, and custody agreements set, aim always to be the bigger man, so to speak. Don’t score petty goals against your ex-partner, make co-parenting easier by being grown up about the situation. Whatever you do, never bad mouth your ex-partner in front of your kids, as it’s not fair on them. Always speak about ‘daddy’ or ‘mummy’ in a nice way, else you will only make things harder for them.
Successful co-parenting is about respect. If you want to make life as easy for your children as possible, do your best to make co-parenting work. Be respectful to your ex-partner, even if they don’t deserve your respect. Your kids will learn from how you act, so being respectful is important. Always be positive when your children are talking about your ex-partner, else you’ll make them feel like they can’t talk about them. If your ex-partner fails to show up for visitation, don’t make snide comments about them. It’s not about goal scoring; it’s about making life easier for your children.
Tell your children they can talk to you about anything
Often, when parents get divorced, kids feel like they have to bottle up how they’re feeling. To help your children get through your divorce and come out the other side, tell them that they can talk to you about anything. Explain that bottling up how they’re feeling will only make things worse. That’s why if they’re upset about something, they should share it with you. Tell them that whatever they’re worried about; they can always tell you about.
Sometimes, kids don’t like to share how they’re feeling with you for fear of upsetting you. If this is the case, it could be worth booking your child in to speak to a family divorce therapist. Sometimes, kids can struggle with family breakups, and the best way to help them through it is by giving them someone objective to talk to.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about making divorce easier for your kids.