Thousands of people get divorced across the country each year. Some studies suggest that around half of all marriages will end in divorce. So feeling unusual because your parents are getting divorced makes as much sense as feeling unusual because you are a boy or a girl.
Yet, kids are not the most rational of thinkers at the best of times, and divorce will be the worst of times for them.
Feeling that you are the odd one out is the source of much of the trauma most kids go through
Pointing out other couples and kids who have been through a divorce is one way to help your child. Yet more than that, it comes down to the actions you take:
- Stay close: It will be even harder to convince your kids that things will be the same if you announce you are moving out of town. It will be simpler for your children if both parents stay close – not least because it allows them to remain in the same school and social groups as before.
- Share parenting time: When someone asks your child how things are post-divorce, what do you want them to say? “It’s hard. I hardly ever see one of my parents” or “It’s not that different. I still spend lots of time with mom and dad, just not together.”
- Give your child their own space: If you expect your child to spend time in both your homes, do your best to provide them with a permanent space in each. It does not need to be a whole room.
The more normal you can make life feel for your child after your divorce, the easier it will be for them to adapt. Finding out more about creating a parenting plan is a crucial first step.