Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Life Changes

Helping Children Cope with Divorce: Provide Stability and Structure

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


A large number of children experience the stress of divorce every year. At their age, this can be a really disturbing situation. How they react may depend on their age, personality and circumstances of the divorce. Still, it is always very important to help them cope with it as much as possible. Only when provided with proper support, your children will be able to come out of it flexible and tolerant. This will not only help them cope with your separation but will also prepare them for many different scenarios in their adult life. So here is how you should provide your children with stability and structure when you are going through the divorce.

Breaking the News

You should break the news about your divorce as soon as you are certain about your plans. The best way to do so is to have both of you be there when informing your children about the divorce. You should try to leave feelings of blame, anger and guilt completely out of it. You can practice the talk before you actually do it. Make sure you give them all the information on the upcoming changes in their lives. The most important thing to do so is assuring them that your divorce is absolutely not their fault.

Handling Their Reactions

Once you break the news to them, your children may be hurt and upset. It is very important to handle the whole situation in the right way in order for your divorce not to have negative effect on their development. Let them know they do not have to respond right away and that you will try to answer all the questions they might have. Some children try to act as if everything was all right in order not to cause any more troubles but this may not always be good for them. Try to look for any changes in their behavior at school and sleeping patterns.


Be Consistent

Consistency is very important when it comes to coping with parents’ divorce. Providing them with routine and familiarity is the best way to get them through this family crisis. That is why you should do your best to minimize abrupt separations and unexpected changes in schedule. Another thing you should do is providing your children with one-on-one time with each parent, no matter how uncomfortable that might be for you and your former spouse.

Try to Get Rid of the Pressure

Going through the divorce is surely going to be a difficult period both for parents and children. In order to reduce the pressure, you should do your best to make the divorce as smooth as possible. This means parents should try to communicate properly and never fight in front of the children. In order to reduce the pressure on the family, you should also get help from experts even if you and your spouse have no disagreements over divorce-related issues. If you are starting an uncontested divorce in Oregon, there are experts who can assist you.

Adults going through separation should always do their best in order to minimize the effect of the divorce on their children. Make sure you and your partner talk about how you will help your children get through this period and provide them with stability and structure.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.