What a Child Needs during a Divorce
Divorce can be very traumatic on the children However, parents who can anticipate their children's needs during this very stressful period of time, can actually make it easier for the kids. Children will never enjoy a divorce, but with some parental help, they can get through this traumatic time, and make it through to the other side without any long-lasting scars.
Mainly, your child is looking for assurances that his life will continue to remain the same as it was even before the divorce. A child can be self-centered to an extent, and may worry that the divorce will the change his life and routine. Assure your child, and let him know that his routine will remain quite similar in a lot of ways to his life before the divorce.
You can do this by encouraging the child to have a relationship with the other parent, maintaining a sense of routine and structure in his life, and not making any major changes to the child's school, extracurricular activities and other important parts of his life.
Children also need to not feel guilty about the divorce. They often blame themselves and wonder if there was something that they did that contributed to their parents’ divorce. Talk to your child, and assure him that the decision was made by you and your spouse, and had nothing to do with him at all.
Children after divorce also need to know that they were an important priority for both parents. The need for acceptance is very real, especially among younger children, and parents need to put their feelings for each other on the back burner to prioritize their children and their feelings after a divorce.
Children also need to be left alone, and not treated as therapists. Do not unburden your fears and anxieties on to your child.