When getting engaged and saying “I do” the one we love, no one can anticipate that it will all end in tears. With over 2 million divorces in the United States every year, this equates to one in every 13 seconds. If you are a parent and unfortunately fall into this statistic, you may not be putting much concentration into how your children feel about the situation.

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Thousands of children experience the stress of a divorce every year. How your kids react will depend on their personality, circumstances of the divorce, and age. For the process to run smoothly, here is a guide on how to support your child through divorce proceedings.

Keep Conflict Hidden

While millions of couples split amicably, others have issues that can make the divorce process more difficult. If your ex-partner’s infidelity is the reason for your divorce, you will naturally experience anger and resentment towards your once spouse. While it’s normal to feel like this, any conflict and arguments should be kept away from your children. Shouting and screaming in front of your kids can frighten them and make them feel as though they’re to blame for the divorce.

Maintain Your Daily Routine

When going through a divorce, there may be days where you find it hard to get out of bed. If you’re a parent, you need to put your child’s well-being before your own. Any slight changes to their routine can change their behavior and mood. So, whether it’s taking them to dance class, picking them up from school, or what time you have dinner, your children need to be kept in the same routine throughout the divorce process and beyond.

Encourage Honesty

Breaking the news to your children that you’re divorcing can be incredibly difficult. You need to give your kids time to digest this information and be prepared for any eventuality. Whether your child remains calm, throws a tantrum, or bursts into tears, you must encourage honesty to let your child know their thoughts and feelings are important to you and that you’ll take them seriously. If your kids don’t feel like they can talk to you, they will bottle up their emotions, which will do them more harm than good.

Get Support

The divorce process can be crippling in an emotional, physical, and financial sense. Therefore, you need to have a strong support network around you to get you through it. Having family and friends close by as a shoulder to cry on can be a good chance to let your emotions out and ensure you’re in the right frame of mind when looking after your children. There is also this guide on the divorce process that can give you an idea of what to expect when hiring a divorce lawyer. To keep your stress levels at bay, getting a good night’s sleep, following a balanced diet, and incorporating physical activity into your routine can help.

Going through any kind of divorce can be physically and emotionally exhausting. While you will go through a range of feelings throughout the process, you need to be there for your children and offer plenty of love and support. Many kids bottle up their thoughts and feelings which can hinder their development. So, putting all the advice above into practice will ensure your kids come out of the situation unscathed.