Going through a divorce or separation is always incredibly difficult and will certainly take its toll. While there will be a lot of practical and emotional baggage to sort out, you will, of course, be concerned at the impact that the separation has on your kids and you need to make them a priority. This can be challenging which is why it is helpful to know a few tips which will hopefully allow you to look after your kids during this period and still manage the divorce. While you do hear of these situations creating lasting damage, this does not always have to be the case if it is carefully managed.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when going through a separation is not being truthful with their kids. Children can be incredibly perceptive so they are likely to know that something is not right – instead of being dishonest (which is never a good idea), you should be truthful but reassure them that it has nothing to do with them and that they will always be loved by both parents.
While it is important to be truthful about the separation, you do not need to expose them to your disagreements or the reasoning for the split. This means that you need to try and avoid conflict in front of them and never try to get them “on your side” by badmouthing your partner – you have to remember that they are still their parent too and will always love them.
Get Expert Legal Advice
It is important to get legal advice as early as possible when going through a separation so that you can be advised on what steps should be taken and so that the legal side can be handled while you manage the emotional and practical side of things. Family law solicitors can guide you through the process for divorce and provide advice on how you can look after the kids during this time.
Try to Maintain Their Routine
Children thrive under a routine so you need to try to minimise disruption to their routine as much as possible. Of course, it is unlikely that everything can be kept exactly the same but small things like getting up at the same time each day, having the same person take them to school and pick them up and spending time with friends is hugely important when going through a divorce.
Look After Yourself
As mentioned, children can be highly perceptive and emotionally sensitive (particularly when it comes to their parents) so you should try your best to look after your own wellbeing while going through a separation. Experiencing and processing emotions is important, but you also need to look after yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, socialising and avoiding harmful behaviours. Going through a separation will always be difficult for your children, but these tips and making them a priority should make the process easier for them and hopefully allow you to build a healthy situation for the whole family moving forward.