When a Pennsylvania marriage ends, it is not just the spouses who are affected. In-laws, friends and especially children go through extreme changes and life will likely never be the same. Because they do not have the same rational thought processing ability or reasoning skills, children may be extremely emotional and act out in ways that have nothing to do with the divorce. If you are preparing to tell your kids about the upcoming changes, there are several ways to do it in a mentally healthy way.
Mental Health America encourages parents to listen and reassure when you are talking to your kids. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault and it does not mean that one parent loves them less. Listen to their concerns and do your best to ease them. Always be compassionate with your kids but answer their questions directly.
Try to keep the routines as stable as possible. It is likely that your children will live in two separate homes now and even go to two different schools. This can be an extremely challenging thing for teens and young kids to deal with. If you can keep something stable in their lives, do it.
When you are sharing custody with someone that you do not live with, it is easy to change discipline styles and allow your kids to get away with things your ex would not. This is especially hard for the parent that does not see the child as often as they are used to. After divorce, children need consistent discipline in things like punishment, curfews, bedtimes and other everyday decisions.
Children should always know that they can rely on each parent and they should never be involved in the conflict. As you and your ex sort through complicated emotions, do your best to address your child’s concerns but to also keep them separated from emotionally damaging situations.