How to Help Kids as Parents Going Through Divorce: Unlocking the Potential of a “Good” Divorce

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Divorce is a challenging and emotional experience for everyone involved, including the children.

However, it is possible to navigate this rugged terrain in a way that minimizes the negative impact on your kids. While divorce usually isn’t “good,” there are strategies you can employ to make it less harmful for your children. Let’s explore some important considerations for parents going through divorce. 

First and foremost, it is crucial to remember that divorce does not entitle you to wage war on your ex-spouse, especially when you expose your kids to that animosity.

Despite the end of your marriage, you both still share the responsibility of being parents to your children. Divorce signifies a change in your relationship, from marriage and living together to divorce and co-parenting from separate households. Prioritizing your children’s well-being and maintaining a cooperative approach is essential. 

In the “good” version, both parents going through divorce collaborate to solve their challenges.

You can mitigate potential issues by establishing a functional working relationship that places your children’s needs at the forefront. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better when parents minimize conflict and work together.1  

Embarking on this journey may take work.

It requires forgiveness—for both your ex-spouse and you. Acknowledge the mistakes and shortcomings that contributed to the end of your marriage and grant yourselves the grace of forgiveness.  

Acceptance is another critical element.

Recognize that a divorce is your new reality. Embrace that you cannot change the past but can choose how you handle the present and future.

As parents going through divorce, there are other essential factors to consider to make it easier for your children: 

Maintain consistent contact with both parents unless it leads to ongoing high levels of conflict.

It is generally beneficial for children to have a relationship with both mom and dad. If continued contact results in excessive tension, consider using an app like OurFamilyWizard to facilitate communications. 

Financial stability is crucial.

After a divorce, economic challenges may arise and there are often disparities between households if one parent is reestablishing themselves in the work force. Lower earning single parents often face difficulties affording extracurricular activities, quality childcare, or living in neighborhoods with good schools. These financial constraints can impact your children’s well-being and academic performance. Consider sharing funding Pro Rata instead of splitting children’s expenses 50/50. 

Minimize major transitions for your children.

Moving homes or introducing a new stepparent can be stressful for kids. Whenever possible, aim to reduce the number of significant changes they must adapt to during this time.  

Take care of yourself during the divorce process.

Your well-being directly affects your children’s adjustment. Stress can impair your parenting abilities, so it is essential to seek support from friends, consider therapy if needed, and prioritize self-care through adequate rest and exercise. 

Divorce is challenging, but when parents commit to working together and reducing conflict, it can create a more favorable environment for their children. You can promote their well-being and establish a foundation for their future by fostering peace, forgiveness, and understanding. Your happiness and children’s are interconnected, so let us focus on nurturing a “good” divorce for their sake. 

  1. Post-divorce living arrangements, parent conflict, and long-term physical health correlates for children of divorce.