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The emotional impact of COVID-19 has been severe. Children have faced a lot of disruption to what they knew as their everyday life. Coping with school closures and not seeing friends, doing school lessons from home, and not enjoying many of their favorite activities have significantly impacted children’s wellbeing. Surveys are already revealing that stress levels in children are considerably higher than pre-COVID. So, any additional stressful situations are likely to affect children even more than they usually would. For parents who are going through divorce proceedings, there will be a great deal of concern about how children will cope.
The health pandemic has led to high numbers of divorces, with lockdown pressures and other stress-related to COVID-19 taking their toll on relationships. If you have reached the situation of an irreconcilable breakdown of marriage and you have children, there are several ways that you can help your kids to cope with the divorce:Ending your marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly adds even more stress to the mix. These tips can help your children cope!Click To Tweet
Talk openly about the situation to avoid potential childhood trauma from divorce
How much information you provide to your children will depend on their age and level of understanding.
Still, it is important to talk about the decision together as a family and give your children the opportunity to ask any questions.
In addition, children often feel some blame when their parents decide to divorce. So, it is important to explain that nothing they have done has contributed to the decision.
Explain what happens after the divorce
As part of the discussion, you should explain what this will mean regarding living arrangements. You and your spouse should have already discussed the essential details so you can appear to have a united front about what the interim custody arrangements will be.
The less disruption to the children, the better. So, living in the same home will help them stay more settled if this is possible.
Lessen the effects of divorce on children by keeping to their usual routine
Apart from visiting the non-custodial parent, the closer to their standard routine you can get, the better. So, activities like going to clubs, their bedtimes, seeing other relatives or friends, should remain as close to normal as possible.
Children handle situations better when they have a routine, so choosing which days they see the other parent should stick to a routine if possible.
Don’t be hostile towards your spouse
When a relationship breaks down, it is very common for there to be some anger at first. Especially, if one party has done something specific to end the relationship, such as having an affair.
It is important to make every decision based on the children’s best interests. Remain as civil as possible with your ex-spouse for the sake of the children. If you start to say negative things about the other parent, this can upset and confuse children when they need to be surrounded by love and given as much stability as possible.
Your child’s relationship with the other parent is just as important as your relationship with your child is. So, try to give your child the chance to enjoy that relationship as much as they can. Hold back from saying any negative comments about your ex, as this can tarnish their relationship.
It is unrealistic to think that your child can cope with COVID-19 and their parents’ divorce without having some struggles. So, make sure you have a well-planned discussion and set of plans to help them manage, using these tips.
Can you name any effects of divorce on children’s behavior?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.