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How can I help my child cope with the divorce?

Divorce is difficult for children no matter what age they are, but they may react differently to the situation as every child will absorb the news in his or her own way. There is no one method to use to help your child through the divorce.

The California Courts suggest that you understand many children will react to divorce as they would a death by going through the stages of grief.

The stages

There are five stages of grief that you may see your child exhibit: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. The length of each stage can vary from child to child. Some children may get stuck within a stage and have trouble moving on. It is essential to help your child go through all five stages so that he or she can reach the last stage of acceptance.

The assistance

One of the best things you can do for your child is to keep communication open. Let your child say what he or she thinks. Do not prevent him or her from expressing feelings, even if they make you uncomfortable.

Talk to your child about why the divorce is happening, but make sure to keep it appropriate for his or her age. You should also create a comfortable environment where the children do not see you and the other parent arguing, especially about them.

You also need to try to keep things as normal as possible, limiting the interruptions in their lives. Consider having them see a counselor as well.

Finally, let your child work through things at his or her own pace. Do not try to speed up the process as this can cause regression or other issues.



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