Here's how to make them feel safe during this difficult time.
Actually, simply asking this question is a good place to start.
Parenting involves constantly protecting your children, so, of course, intentionally upsetting their status quo naturally goes against your instincts. But, if you're certain divorce is the right step for you, then, most likely, in the long run, it will be right for your children, too.
On the other hand, if you’re wavering about whether to divorce or not, don’t act hastily. Take plenty of time to reflect until you feel certain. Be honest and tell your spouse that you’re unhappy in your marriage, and be prepared to do the work required to give your relationship your ALL one last time.
Then, if you do decide to end things, aspire to divorce well.
Here are 10 ways to ease the impact of divorce on your children:
1. Make sure divorce is the answer and that your marriage cannot be saved.
2. Don’t EVER use your children as pawns.
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Divorce can be a battle at times, but children are NOT weapons to use against your ex.
3. Unify as co-parents.
Have the best interests of the kids be your common ground and build on that.
4. Be fair and reasonable.
Remember, your children are counting on you to act like the adult.
5. Stay in a calm mindset.
6. Treat the other parent with respect.
7. Understand that no one "wins" at divorce and each of you will experience loss.
8. Consider the impact of your decisions, even the smallest ones — today, next year, and 10 years from now.
9. Appreciate that each individual will need to process this upheaval in his or her own way.
10. Most important, make your children feel LOVED and SAFE.
I’ve said it over and over: divorce is hard. Please, don’t make it harder.
If your priority is to do your best for your children, then you’re doing great.
Keep in mind that we do our best when we're calm and prepared — and when we resist acting impulsively.
This article was originally published at DebraBlockDivorceCoach.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.