Working together, parents can help children through divorce

  • Published
  • By Lisa Kouri-Perraut
  • 72nd Force Support Squadron
Divorce can be a stressful and confusing time for children. If you work together as parents, the process can be less painful for your children. It is normal to feel unsure about how to talk to your children and give them the right support during your divorce. It is possible to get through this time with your children feeling loved and supported by both parents.

The most important thing when it comes to helping your children cope with the divorce, is to provide a stable, positive environment to ensure that your child's emotional and physical needs are met. To make this happen, you will need to take care of yourself and work together as peacefully as possible. It may not be a comfortable process, but it will provide your children with more confidence and reassurance about their future.

There are many things you can do with your children to help them cope with the changes they are experiencing. Try to keep the change in their daily routine to a minimum. By providing routines children can rely on, you remind them that they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. Always be available to listen to their concerns and be patient with their emotions. If possible, try to maintain open communication between the two of you so the children will have the same opportunities with both parents.

When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents may not feel like they have the right words. Make sure that you are both prepared emotionally for the conversation and are on the same page with any questions your children may have.

There are many activities you can do with your children to help them cope with the divorce. Drawing pictures of their feelings can be a way for children to express how they are feeling. This can help parents know what their children are thinking and where their concerns are regarding the divorce. Role playing can also be a useful tool during this time. Practice dealing with difficult situations that may come up and offer solutions so your children will be prepared. Another thing that can relieve the stress for you and your children is exercising. Being active is a good way to relieve tension or angry feelings in a positive way. This transition time will not be an easy adjustment, but just remember to keep the best interests of your children in mind.

The Tinker community is behind its families and youth. Tinker offers many resources for families who are going through a divorce. Adult Military Family Life Consultants are available at the Tinker Airman and Family Readiness Center and Child and Youth Consultants are available in the Child Development Program and Tinker Youth Center.