One of the hardest aspects of divorce when you have children is explaining why their parents are no longer going to be living in the same house together. It is equally hard on your kids to live through it, but they can make it through this rough transition. There are a few things you can do to help them not only live through your divorce but to thrive.
Your Children Come First
Your kids most likely want you to stay together, even if they experience constant fighting. You can help ease their minds by putting their needs first. This means sitting down and talking to them about what's happening and asking them how they feel. Let your children know you still love them and will always be there for them even if one parent no longer lives with them full time.
Maintain a Good Relationship
It might be hard to try to maintain a good relationship with an ex-spouse, but for the sake of the children, it is a must. When you divorce you must change your relationship to that of co-allies in raising your children and always do what is best for them. If you must attend counselling to ensure you can truly be there for your children to help them through this time, then make it a point to do so. It is important that your children feel that both parents love them when they see one parent leave the home.
Don't Fight in Front of Children
There will be issues that you need to work through and at times anger may erupt at each other. If you find you are constantly fighting with each other and simply don't get along, then don't have these fights where your children can see them. Instead, make it a point to stop the argument then and there and continue the discussion when the kids aren't present. If possible, have your discussions when the children are at school, with friends, or with a grandparent or other relative. A divorce is hard enough on them without seeing their parents fight on a regular basis.
Additionally, during these discussions, or when talking about the other parent to another adult or your child, don't be critical of your spouse in front of your children. Your child still loves both their parents and you aren't doing them a favor by undermining that love and putting the other parent down. Children feel they should be loyal to both parents and often feel guilty if they don't stop loving the criticized parent.
While caring for your children through this tough time, you may also want to hire a divorce attorney to help the process move somewhat smoothly between you and your spouse.