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How To Protect Your Children During A Divorce

If you’re going through a divorce, it is very important that you do everything you can to protect your children as you and your ex-spouse learn to navigate co-parenting. Animosity between their parents can make children feel confused, angry, scared, or unhappy, whether they let it show or not.

You might have a legitimate reason to be upset or angry with your ex-partner, but you will need to be able to put your children’s feelings above your own. 

Keep The Arguments Away From Your Children

The most important thing that you can do to protect your children from your divorce is to keep them away from it as much as you can. This can be easier said than done, especially if you’re upset or hurting. You don’t have to disguise the fact you’re upset, but being pulled into nasty fights between their parents can be very distressing and upsetting for children. No matter how bad it gets, shield your children from the arguments. 

If you do argue in front of your children, do what you can to reassure them. Explain, in a way they can understand, why an argument happened and make sure they know it has nothing to with them. Try to put on a positive face afterward to make your children feel better. 

If you need to have a discussion with your ex-spouse that you think might turn into an argument, have it away from your children. It could be helpful to meet on neutral ground, like a coffee shop. This means you can talk through your problems openly, without worrying about being overheard by your children. 

Reduce Your Stress

 If you can find a way to do this for yourself, you can help your children to feel calmer too. 

Divorce is one of the most stressful things that you can go through in life, so there will be a lot of emotion that needs to handled in a healthy way. If you can channel these emotions into something other than arguments, you will be better able to navigate your divorce yourself and also offer a better, less distressing environment for your children. The first thing you should do to lessen your stress is to get good legal representation and advice. The right divorce lawyers will be able to talk you through the divorce process and ease any worries or concerns that you might have. 

Try to keep up with an exercise routine. Exercise releases endorphins, which are what make you feel good. Exercise can make you feel a lot less stressed. It’s also a good way to get out any excess energy that you might have otherwise put into an argument. To feel better, keep up with some fitness. 

Keep a journal. If you need to get your feelings out, you could resort to arguing, venting, shouting, or saying nasty things to or about your ex-spouse that you don’t really mean. Keeping your feelings bottled up isn’t good either, as it can lead to feeling more stressed. Keeping a journal can be a good way to reduce some of your stress, as you can express your emotions in a healthy way and make a calmer home environment for your children. Write down what’s making you stressed, how you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling it. 

Don’t isolate yourself. You need help and support too, not just your children. You need to look after yourself before you can look after anyone else and be a good parent. Visit your friends, or see a counselor if you need more help. Make sure to look after yourself so you can properly look after your children. 

Try To Maintain Some Normality

A divorce is a big change for the whole family, especially for your children. They have a lot of change to deal with, such as seeing you or their other parent less often and in a different place. There might be a new person in your or ex-spouse’s life that they have to deal with. Perhaps they have to move home. There’s a lot of upheaval for children to cope with. 

To help with this upheaval, try and be a rock for your children and something familiar amongst all the changes. During a divorce, children can easily push down their feelings around the divorce, so you might not always realize how badly it’s hurting them. Try to find ways to reassure them. 

Talk to your children about what’s happening. Make sure they understand that the separation is in no way their fault and that both their parents will love them during and after the divorce process. 

Try to keep things as normal as you possibly can. If you have a routine, such as swimming lessons on a certain day, try to stick to it as much as you can. This gives your children some stability, which your children will benefit from at this difficult time. 

Make sure your children get to see you and your ex-spouse. They may be frightened of the idea of losing one of you, so make sure they get time with you both. 

Be Honest

It’s easy to fall into the trap of playing the blame game when you’re going through a divorce, but this won’t really help you out very much. Blaming each other only ends up causing your children more upset and can make them feel as though they have to choose sides in the argument. It also makes their environment a lot more upsetting to be in. 

Refusing to talk to your ex is a bad idea too. You need to be able to communicate about your children, even if you don’t talk about anything else for a while. 

Don’t let your emotions rule your decision-making. When emotions are high, you probably won’t make the best choices for your family. Get good legal representation, talk through your situation honestly, and make reasoned decisions that will be good for your children. Don’t make decisions just to spite your ex. All this will do is cause hurt.