Parents in Alaska going through a divorce will not only need to work through the issues that led to the breakup but will also need to figure out how to help their children adjust to the changes that inevitably follow. Each child might react differently to the end of their parents’ marriage, but the parents individually and together can help them work through this period.
Be their support
While parents might feel that they need some emotional support themselves as they figure a way forward, they should not seek that support from their children. Instead, they need to offer their children support as the children go through a range of emotions, such as fear, rage, anxiety and confusion, that divorce can bring on. Some of the ways parents can show support for their children during this process include:
• Reassuring them that the divorce was not the children’s fault
• Letting the children know that both parents are still committed to raising them in a stable, loving environment
• Explaining the necessary changes that the divorce brings, such as the parents no longer living together, and allowing the children to ask questions and process the changes
• Encouraging the children’s relationship with their other parent
Let them know they can talk to you
During the period of the separation and divorce, and through the months and years after the divorce is final, parents should make sure they let their children know that they can talk to their parents about anything. Open and honest communication is important, so let the children know that they can ask questions about the process and answer them truthfully.
Helping children adjust to life during and after a divorce successfully is usually a collaborative effort between the parents. Even if there are challenges when it comes to communication with the other parent, overcoming these for the children’s well-being is worth it.