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Helping Children Cope with Divorce


Everyone knows that going through a divorce, even a relatively low-conflict one, is extremely difficult and emotional. Parents involved in a divorce can easily feel overwhelmed by the situation they face. However, being mindful of children’s emotional needs is crucial to a parent’s ability to help them cope with the divorce.

Psychology Today recently published eight strategies for helping children adjust:

  1. Explain the divorce in a simple and straightforward manner so that children can understand.
  2. Re-assure your children that both parents will always love them.
  3. Talk to them about the emotions children often feel in this situation. Encourage open communication and check regularly on how children are coping.
  4. Reassure your children that the divorce is not their fault — children often blame themselves for these events.
  5. Do not bad-mouth the other parent. This can cause children to feel a loyalty conflict.
  6. Do not take children by surprise. Give your kids plenty of notice before a parent moves out.
  7. Get professional help from a family expert or therapist. It can also be beneficial for a child to talk to a therapist on his or her own.
  8. Keep in mind that children may act up, withdraw or regress during the divorce. They need patience and extra support from you, as well as communication.

Compassionate and knowledgeable New York divorce attorneys use all tools at their disposal, including mediation and collaborative law, and can help make the process of divorce more manageable.