When marriages end in divorce, it can be utterly devastating for children. Even in unhappy marriages, children may still want to stay together for their own security. The impact of divorce in children may vary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the separation. Many experts agree that the ability of a child to cope with divorce can be influenced, by the level of hostility and conflict between parents, and how both parties accept and adjust to the break up.

Big changes are expected during the transition. It may be best that you talk to your kids, one month before you start making arrangements to live separately. It may also be advisable that both parents are physically present to discuss the issue. Be very specific regarding living arrangements, and the necessary changes that are yet to occur. It is also essential that you emphasize, that the break up is not your child’s fault. Reassure your kids that despite the separation, you will remain to be loving and supportive parents to them.

Divorce is not easy for children, and it is important that a child is allowed to express his emotions. Encourage your children to ask questions, so that you can address their fears and insecurities. Let them know that they can approach you, or your ex-partner for whatever questions they need to ask. Keeping communication lines open during this time is very important, so that a child will not deal with very troubling thoughts alone.

With irreconcilable differences, it is common that divorce ends in hostility. Since this can greatly impact children, it may be advisable that you try to work ways to improve the situation. It may be good if you seek help from a family therapist, if you cannot effectively communicate with your ex-partner. Trying to create something positive out of the situation can be difficult, but it may be essential in minimizing the negative effects on children.

Kids may have difficulty adjusting, but try to be firm and consistent as you were before. This will make them feel more secured that despite the changes, everything can still go on as usual. This is also not the proper time to make other big decisions like having them transfer schools, or moving away from other people they know. If it is possible, try to do the usual activities that your children were accustomed to doing.

More than ever, a child needs a lot of love and reassurance during this difficult time. Be alert for signs of depression, regressive behavior, or problems in school because these may indicate coping difficulties in a child. If your child is exhibiting such symptoms, seek the help of a therapist. There are also organizations, which offer workshops for parents and children, who are going through the changes of divorce.

Try to encourage your child, to maintain open communication lines with your ex-partner. By allowing them to do so, you are fostering healthy relationships between them. Divorce should never make a child feel, that they have to choose which side they need to take on. Divorce will always be hard for everyone, but if steps are taken to minimize the effects, a child can grow up understanding the situation, and appreciating both parents for the roles that they have in their lives.