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How can you help support your child’s emotional needs during divorce?

When your child’s life is changing, they may not be sure how to cope. It’s normal to see children struggle in times of crisis, such as when they realize that they’ll be moving schools or when they think they won’t see one of their parents enough. 

Children can recover from traumatic events like a divorce, but they need support to do so. There are some good tips that can help you be there for your child and to make this transition easier for them.

So, how can you help? Try these three things:

1. Take care of yourself.

The first priority is for you to take care of yourself and to get yourself into an emotionally stable place. If you want to be there for your child, then you need to be able to sleep, eat, work and interact normally with them. If you are anxious or angry, then those emotions may run over into their lives and affect them immensely. 

2. Talk to your children — a lot.

Another thing to do is to talk to your children about what they know (or think they know). Clear up any misconceptions, and be sure to alleviate any underlying fears or concerns they may be holding. (Do be careful that you don’t share too much information about the reasons for your divorce.) Focus on the idea that they are safe and loved by both you and their other parent. Help them understand the new custody and parenting arrangements, as necessary. 

3. Spend more time with them.

Finally, remember that your child may be feeling insecure right now. Spend more time together, and you’ll be able to show that you love them and want to be around them. This can help them feel better about what’s happening because they’ll know that you’ll still be there for them.

Staying calm, taking care of yourself, talking to your child and spending time together are all essential ways of helping your child come out of a divorce with better mental health and security. Taking these steps may seem simple, but they can make a big difference to your child.