Therapy Tips: Supporting Your Child through Your Divorce

As a parent, one of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is telling your children. It is a decision they may not understand and one that may change their day to day lives. While you want to provide security for your children, divorce changes the foundational family dynamic they’ve come to know. It might be important to consider therapy options to support your children through this transition. Outside of therapy, however, there are additional ways you can support your child through divorce:

Delivering the News

Finding out about a parent’s divorce may become a core memory for children. Create a calm environment in which to tell them, ideally with you and your partner together. Sit them down and explain honestly and with compassion what is happening. Don’t place blame on their other parent.

While it’s important to be honest, your children don’t need to know every detail. They are not responsible to take sides and it’s important you support their relationship with both parents. Give them space to ask questions and reassure your child that they are not to blame for the divorce.

Maintain Routine

While so much change is happening around them, prioritize routine in your child’s life. Make sure they’re still playing on the soccer team and hanging out with their friends! These consistencies in their life are crucial when so much change is happening in the home. And while dynamics in the home may be changing, maintain as much familiarity in the home as possible.

Support Their Emotions

There is a level of grief involved in divorce and the stages of grief take time. Your child may be angry, stand-offish, sad, or anxious about the impending changes. Let them feel their feelings, even if it paints you as the “unhelpful parent” for a bit. Their feelings are valid and your support is crucial in that validation.

Seek Therapeutic Support

You do not have all the answers for your child, nor are you supposed to. There is support available for you and your children through this transition. Many therapists work specifically with children going through divorce and are a valuable resource. Furthermore, there are options for parent coaching to best equip you to support your child.

Divorce is a messy, difficult and emotional time for everyone involved. At Decade2Connect, we understand the complexities of this life transition and are here to support you and your family.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!