One of the things that concerns parents most when facing divorce in California is how to help their children cope through the process and through the new normal. It is true that divorce can be difficult for children, but according to the American Psychological Association, children generally adjust well after a time and are better off than children in homes where parental conflict continues.
Here are a few ways to help children cope with this difficult change in their lives.
Prepare to break the news
The APA suggests spouses create a plan to present the news to any children together. Showing a calm united front can help ease the shock and assure children that their parents will still work together for them. If possible, it is also a good idea to give children several weeks notice before any large changes like moving, so they have time to adjust. Sudden changes can be more difficult for children.
Understand it will be a process
It is important to understand that it will likely be a process for children to adjust to the new normal. According to KidsHealth, it is normal for children and parents to feel sadness and loss over the divorce and the new situation. That does not mean that acceptance and healthy adjustment will not come. Parents can help children by being open and honest and encouraging children to do the same. Legitimize their feelings and allow them free expression, then offer support and encouragement. Parents should avoid speaking ill of their ex in front of their children and remember to take care of their own physical and mental health.