Helping your Child Through a Divorce

As we know, divorce impacts nearly 50% of families, which means many youth are growing up in two households.  Often times, the child is not part of the reason for divorce, but inevitably they are impacted significantly.  Here are some ways you can continue to support your child through this transition and after in order to minimize the impact the divorce may have on them.

1.     Make sure your child continues to be told and shown that they are loved, valuable, and important.

2.     Do not talk negatively about your ex-partner to your child.

3.     Do not put your child in the middle of it, making them choose who they want to spend their time with.

4.     Don’t sugarcoat the situation- be honest and direct, but feel free to withhold details that will not benefit the child

5.     Don’t brush it under the rug and pretend nothing is different

6.     Acknowledge the change, their feelings, and what they need

7.     Get the youth into see a counselor, even if it’s short term therapy for a few sessions to allow the child to express themselves

8.     Discuss logistics with the other parent without the child around

9.     Be flexible and willing to alter this visitation schedule when needed but again, do not make the child choose.

If you or your child are working through a divorce, don’t wait to get help.  There is hope for creating a new normal for your family and your child. 

Kimberly Presley, MSW, LCSW

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