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How do I support my children after divorce?

When you’re going through the trials and tribulations of the divorce process, if you’re a parent, your children will be the first things on your mind. So the question is: How do you keep the divorce from causing your children to suffer emotionally, and how do you support them through the process?

According to general wisdom from family psychologists, when parents tend to the needs of their children after divorce — even when the stress seems to get overwhelming for the kids — the children will come back to balance eventually.

Here are three things you can help your children with:

Keep the routine consistent: Create a routine for your children that you stick with religiously. This routine should include set meal times, set bedtimes and set wake-up times — as well as set times and days for other activities, including visitations with the noncustodial parents. This will help your children feel more stable, both in their schedule and in their emotions.

Tell them it’s not their fault and you love them: On a continual basis, and perhaps more than you may feel is necessary, reassure your children that you love them and make sure they know that the divorce was not their fault. Don’t be shy to repeat this information in different ways and regularly.

Help your children with the “7 C’s of Resilience”: The 7 C’s relating to the skills children need to be emotionally resilient enough to come out of the divorce unscathed, these “C’s” are:

  • Confidence
  • Competence
  • Connection
  • Character
  • Contribution
  • Coping
  • Control

By teaching your children the “7 C’s” they’ll have all the “tools” they need to be emotionally healthy in their daily lives. In turn, they’ll be better capable of weathering your divorce.

Another way to support your children is to divorce amicably and respectfully. This will reduce the stresses of divorce and improve your relationship with your co-parent in the months and years to come.