Tips for Parents to Support Kids During a Divorce

January 12, 2023by Shari Markovich

It’s no secret that divorce can be tough on kids. But there are things parents can do to help support their children during this difficult time. From maintaining a positive relationship with your ex to talking to a divorce therapist or a child counsellor in the Burlington, Hamilton, or
Oakville area, here are some tips for divorced parents who want to make things easier for their kids.

How Divorce Affects Children

Most children may feel sad, scared, and confused when they hear the news of their parents splitting up and this might also raise feelings of anxiety about the future. As an impact of divorce, some children may want to separate themselves from either one or both of the parents due to feeling betrayed by them. Additionally, children often struggle with accepting the fact that their parents no longer love each other, viewing the split up as a betrayal.

Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Divorce

If your family is going through a divorce, it can be an emotional and confusing time for both parents and children. Here are some tips to help your child cope with the divorce:

  • Explain the Divorce: Make sure that your child knows that the decision was not their fault and that all involved parties still love them very much.
  • Help Your Child Express Their Feelings: Provide a safe space where your child can express their feelings without fear of judgement or criticism. Listen intently and respond to each feeling with validation.
  • Avoid Fighting in Front of Your Kids: Do your best to remain calm in your child’s presence so they don’t feel overwhelmed or scared. Even though you might be feeling angry and upset at times, avoid discussing the details of the divorce in front of them.
  • Don’t Blame the Other Parent: Avoid placing blame on the other parent for the divorce. Instead, focus on helping your child understand what has happened in a non-judgmental way.
  • Be Supportive When Your Child Is with the Other Parent: Showing acceptance of your former partner can help kids feel more secure and at ease with the changes that come with divorce.
  • Consider Counselling for Your Child: Counselling can be a very beneficial tool in helping your child process their feelings and navigate the difficult transition. It is important to create a regular routine that provides stability while also providing emotional support.

Contact the Child Therapists in Burlington at Family Matters Centre

Going through a divorce is difficult, especially for children. The child therapists in Burlington at Family Matters Centre understand this and are prepared to help your child constructively cope with the experience. With effective communication and support, our divorce therapists can work to reduce the emotional stress children may feel while dealing with the effects of divorce. We can also provide marriage counselling and co-parenting counselling to help parents ease the burden on their children.

Through supportive therapeutic activities and group therapy tailored to meet each individual’s needs, our marriage counsellors offer your family an excellent resource when it comes to processing emotions and dealing with a divorce in a healthy way.

If you’re looking for a child therapist or marriage counsellor in the Burlington, Hamilton, or Oakville area, call us today at (905) 466-8023 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.

by Shari Markovich

Shari is a Child Therapist who has worked with children and adolescents for more than 20 years. She uses a variety of counselling modalities, including Theraplay®, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Family Systems. She is motivated to work with children and parents so families can function in healthy and supportive ways.