If you’re a California parent going through a divorce, you are probably concerned about how the marital breakup could affect your child emotionally. Fortunately, most child psychologists agree that kids usually recover from divorce and without suffering permanent psychological ill-effects.
That said, your child will likely go through some “growing pains” as they become accustomed to the new reality of no longer living with both parents in the same home. You can help your child recover from divorce in the healthiest way possible by employing the following tips:
Let your child know that emotions of sadness and anger are normal
If your children are having a difficult time, suffering from bouts of anger, feeling sad or anxious after your divorce, you can support them by creating a judgment-free environment. This might not be easy to do if you’re the focus of your child’s anger, but the stronger and more accepting a parent can be, the better the post-divorce situation will be for the child.
Help your children realize the divorce isn’t their fault
Children need to be reassured that they didn’t cause their parents to divorce. As irrational as it sounds, children often end up blaming themselves for their parent’s breakups. They might even associate a moment when they got in trouble with the actual cause of the breakup. Explain to your children repeatedly and in different ways that the divorce was a decision between you and your spouse only.
Reassure your child of your love
Children may also need to be reassured that the love of a parent for a child will never change. Unlike the love between two spouses — which could fade in time — your child needs to hear frequently that nothing will get in the way of child-parent love, and that you’ll always be there for your child.
Finally, another way you can support your child is by divorcing your spouse peacefully and respectfully. It will help your child feel calm and less agitated by the trauma of the breakup if they are not forced to be the diplomat liaison between their two “warring” parents.