No matter how you feel about your spouse when you start divorce proceedings, the last thing you want to do is hurt or traumatize your children. Going through their divorce is hard on kids, but you can help them through the transition in a way that makes things easier.
A big part of the adjustment is getting used to splitting time between two homes or whatever child custody arrangement you and your ex will end up using. Here are a few tips for helping your children deal with their new reality.
Prepare before the conversation
Before you tell the kids that you or your ex is moving out, try to work out what their new living situation will be ahead of time. Their world is already getting turned upside down, so any information you can provide will be helpful. They don’t need the added chaos of changing custody arrangements every few weeks if you can avoid it.
Talk it out
Give your kids the chance to ask questions about what divorce is and what to expect. Depending on what age they are, you might consider buying some divorce-themed children’s books to help them learn.
Give them a place of their own in your new place
If your new home is large enough for each child to have their own room, give them their own space and help them make it their own. If your new home simply doesn’t have enough rooms, at least set aside space in the living room that is their own little area. It’s important that the kids feel at home, not like visitors, at both parents’ houses.
Involve them in the house hunt
You don’t have to give your children the final word on where you move, of course, but making them a part of the apartment or house search can help them feel more in control. Once you move in, older kids can help pick the paint color and furniture for their bedrooms.
Divorcing parents in the Charleston area who are on the same page when it comes to their children’s well-being can set aside their personal differences and guide their kids through divorce with love and compassion.