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How to help your school-aged children adjust to divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Child Custody & Parenting Plans

There is no right or wrong time to get a divorce. Rather, it should happen when spouses realize it will be best for each other to part ways. Unfortunately, even when it seems necessary, it can emotionally affect exes and their children.

School-aged children who are more aware of what is going on than toddlers or babies, can often feel down about the situation and even blame themselves. Instead of feeling just as helpless as your child, you can be proactive about lifting their spirits or getting them the help they need.

Show your support

As a single parent and co-parent unit you should tell your children that you are there to support them. This should begin with cluing them in on divorce plans well before the settlement, so they aren’t finding out before it’s time to move into another home. And the message that the decision to divorce had nothing to do with your child should be loud and clear.

Then, after you separate, your children might still feel hurt or confused. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, rather than burying it deep down inside. Keeping feelings pent up can cause your child to act out or perform poorly at school.

Seek professional help

Maybe you’ve exhausted every effort to help your children remain positive through the major life changes divorce causes. If they are stilling feeling down or consistently uneasy about the adjustment, it might be time to lock in the help of a child therapist. Seeking outside help is by no means a sign of failure. Instead, you should think of it like an external injury ⁠— if your child had a deep cut that need stitches, then you’d pull up to the emergency room before pulling out your sewing kit.

Keep it up

Even after your child seems to be well-adjusted to their new reality, it’s important to keep checking in with their feelings. Divorce aside, children continually face growing pains and life changes that can be tough to process. Letting your children know they can lean on both you and your ex-spouse through thick and thin can go a long way.