Single parenting

How to Support Children Through the Challenges of Divorce

Jul 19, 2023

Divorce is a challenging and emotional process for everyone involved, especially children. As parents or caregivers, it is our responsibility to support children through this difficult time and help them navigate the challenges that come with divorce. By providing a loving and nurturing environment, open communication, and access to appropriate resources, we can help our children cope with divorce in a healthy and positive way.

1. Create a Safe and Stable Environment

During a divorce, children may experience feelings of instability and uncertainty. It is crucial to create a safe and stable environment for them to feel secure. Here’s how:

  • Maintain routines: Stick to regular schedules for meals, bedtime, school activities, and other daily routines. Consistency can provide a sense of stability for children during this transitional period.
  • Ensure physical safety: Assure your child that they are safe by addressing any concerns they may have about their living arrangements or changes in their surroundings.
  • Promote emotional well-being: Encourage open expression of emotions and provide a safe space for your child to talk about their feelings without judgment or criticism.

2. Foster Open Communication

Effective communication is key when supporting children through divorce. By fostering open dialogue, you can help them understand the situation better and address their concerns. Here are some tips:

  • Encourage questions: Let your child know that it’s okay to ask questions about the divorce process. Be patient and provide age-appropriate answers that are honest yet sensitive.
  • Listen actively: When your child opens up about their feelings or concerns, give them your full attention. Validate their emotions and let them know you are there for them.
  • Be neutral: Avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your child. It’s important to remain neutral and not involve them in any conflicts.

3. Seek Professional Support

Divorce can be overwhelming, and professional support can make a significant difference in helping children cope. Consider these options:

  • Child therapy: A qualified child therapist can provide a safe space for children to express their emotions and develop coping strategies tailored to their needs.
  • Co-parenting counseling: Co-parenting counseling can help parents work together effectively, ensuring that the needs of the children remain a priority.
  • Support groups: Joining a support group for children of divorce or attending family therapy sessions can provide a sense of belonging and understanding.

4. Introduce Age-Appropriate Resources

Books, videos, and other resources specifically designed for children going through divorce can be incredibly helpful in explaining the process and normalizing their feelings. Consider these options:

  • “Two Homes” by Claire Masurel: This beautifully illustrated book explores the concept of having two homes after a divorce, emphasizing love and security in both households.
  • “Dinosaurs Divorce” by Marc Brown: Through colorful illustrations, this book provides an age-appropriate explanation of divorce, covering topics like different living arrangements and co-parenting.
  • Online videos: Websites such as Sesame Street have videos that address divorce in a child-friendly way, featuring beloved characters that children can relate to.

5. Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Teaching children healthy coping mechanisms is essential for their emotional well-being during and after divorce. Here are some strategies to encourage:

  • Expressive outlets: Encourage your child to express their emotions through writing, drawing, or engaging in activities they enjoy.
  • Physical activity: Engage in physical activities together, such as going for walks, riding bikes, or playing sports. Physical exercise can help reduce stress and improve mood.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Introduce simple mindfulness exercises or deep breathing techniques to help your child manage stress and anxiety.


Supporting children through the challenges of divorce requires patience, understanding, and open communication. By creating a safe and stable environment, fostering open dialogue, seeking professional support when needed, introducing age-appropriate resources, and encouraging healthy coping mechanisms, parents and caregivers can make a positive impact on their children’s well-being during this difficult time. Remember that every child is unique, so it’s important to tailor your approach based on their individual needs. With love and support, children can navigate the challenges of divorce and emerge stronger and more resilient.