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How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Happy During a Divorce

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Going through a divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be especially hard on children. 37.6% of marriages end in divorce, which means 50% of children will live through a divorce at least once.

As parents, it is important to put your children’s needs first and make their well-being a priority throughout this transition. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe and happy, while supported, and emotionally healthy during a divorce.

An african american couple is having a sad disagreement in front of their child who is holding a notebook with a happy home for an article on how to keep your kids safe and happy during a divorce

“Divorce and marriage play much bigger economic roles for Black children than white children in the United States, according to a new study by UC Davis economists.

Have age-appropriate conversations with your children about what the divorce will mean for your family. Be open about changes that will occur without overwhelming them with details they don’t need to know. Encourage them to ask questions and make sure they understand nothing is their fault. Let them know you and their other parent both love them and will continue taking care of them. Honest, transparent communication gives kids a sense of security.

Drastic changes in schedule, home, school, or routines can be frightening for kids. Develop a custody schedule with your co-parent and stick to it consistently. Minimize disruptions by having kids stay in the family home if possible. Keep things like bedtime routines, rules, chores, and discipline consistent between households. Maintaining stability in their daily lives helps reduce anxiety.

Give kids some level of control by involving them in certain decisions about the divorce. For example, after speaking to a St. Petersburg divorce lawyer, allow tweens and teens input on custody schedules, which parent they will live with, or how they will split holidays. Don’t place the full responsibility on kids, but let them feel empowered when feasible.

Encourage kids to voice concerns to you, or seek counseling if they seem withdrawn or struggle with emotions like anger, depression, or guilt. Support groups can also help kids connect with peers going through similar experiences. Don’t underestimate how helpful professional support can be during this challenging transition.

“According to, studies have shown that divorces hurt a Black child’s academic standing, grades, and high school retention rate. It has been shown that for children and adolescents to thrive in learning their home environment must be as stable as possible.”

One of the best things you can do for your kids is keep conflict with your ex to a minimum. Model good behavior by being polite and respectful, and don’t talk negatively about their other parent. Present a united front on co-parenting issues like rules and discipline. Minimizing tension and communicating effectively with your ex protects kids from ongoing stress.

Carve out plenty of quality time to relax and have fun with your kids during the divorce process. Do favorite activities together or create new traditions. Also, make sure to take time for your self-care. Whether it’s exercise, seeing friends, or enjoying a hobby – don’t neglect yourself. Modeling resilience, staying patient, and taking care of your needs help demonstrate healthy coping strategies.

With some thoughtful planning, open communication, consistency, and support, parents can guide their children through a divorce in the healthiest way possible. Staying focused on their safety, stability, and emotional needs ensures kids remain happy and cared for, despite this big transition in their lives.

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