The most important things that you can do to help your child cope with divorce are:
- Keep visible conflict, heated discussions, and legal talk away from your child.
- Minimize the disruptions to your child's daily routines.
- Confine negativity and blame about each other to private therapy sessions or conversations with friends outside the home.
- Keep each parent involved in your child’s life.
- Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.
- Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help your child by noticing his/her moods and encouraging him/her to talk.
- Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let your child know that whatever he/she says is okay. If he/she is not able to share their honest feelings, he/she will have a harder time working through them.
- Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix your child’s problems or change his/her sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge his/her feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.