Tips for helping your children through a tricky divorce

October 13, 2015

Whatever the child's age, going through a divorce is difficult, so it's important to approach the subject with care and never blame the child for the situation. Here are some of the best tips for helping children through tough times.

Tips for helping your children through a tricky divorce

Background statistics

  • Every year, hundreds of thousands of children experience their parents' divorce.
  • In Canada, 35 per cent of all divorces affect children, and 33 per cent of first marriages end in divorce.
  • Even with nearly 70,000 divorces each year, Canada actually has one of the lowest divorce-to-marriage ratios in the world.

Never blame your child

  • According to Separation Canada, the most common reasons for divorce are falling out of love, unreasonable behaviour, infidelity, money issues and a lack of communication.
  • Even if an issue with children contributes to a divorce, it is important to never discuss this with them.
  • Instead, focus on reminding the children that regardless of whether you and your spouse are together, you both love them unconditionally.

Minimize the fighting

  • Depending on how bad the relationship is between you and your former spouse, fights may be common. However, it is best to remain calm and not fight in front of your children.
  • If your children overhear an argument, use it as a learning opportunity to teach them that there are always better ways to communicate your feelings than through hurtful words.
  • By maintaining some semblance of a healthy relationship, your children will be better able to accept that a divorce is happening.

Don't force your child to pick sides

  • Even if you no longer love your spouse, it does not mean that your children will harbour the same feelings.
  • Consequently, never bad-mouth your ex in front of your children or share juicy tidbits about what led to the divorce. Instead, respect the fact that your children are going to have a lifetime relationship with their other parent, and stay supportive.
  • Going through a divorce is never easy. It will be a time of sadness and anger for both you and your children.
  • Because no one enters a marriage expecting it to end in a divorce, it can be an extremely difficult experience, and with children in the picture, it becomes even more complicated.
  • Always remind your children that you love them unconditionally and create a schedule with your former spouse that allows you both equitable and fair time with them.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu