Divorce is never going to be easy for your kids. Even if they knew your marriage had problems, they may have believed you’d sort things out.
If you need to divorce, then you need to do it, but what you should also do is try to make it as easy for your children as possible. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Don’t put the children in the middle
If you’d prefer not to deal with your ex (or soon-to-be ex), asking the children to pass on messages might seem logical. After all, they get on with both of you, and most of your communication will be about them.
Sadly, that’s not going to work. Think about the last time your spouse told you something you didn’t like. Did you stay smiling and calm, or did your expression, words, or actions make it obvious how you felt about it? What about them? How do they react when you tell them something they don’t like?
If you send those messages via the kids, they’ll notice your reactions and likely feel bad. They might even take to altering messages or “forgetting” to pass them on to reduce the chance of a negative reaction. It’s not fair to ask them to referee your battles.
2. Make time for your children
Now that you are running a household alone, you may need to work more and do more household tasks. While you’re doing it for the benefit of your children, make sure you’re not doing it to their exclusion. They’re likely feeling vulnerable and confused right now and will need your undivided attention more than ever.
Experienced legal guidance can relieve some of the strain during your divorce, and increase the chance you get a fair settlement. Both of these will put you in a better position to help your children through this difficult time.