Your whole family feels the effects of the ending of your marriage with your soon-to-be ex. Divorce can unearth a plethora of intense emotions such as anger, loneliness, sadness and grief.
Similarly to the adults involved, your child might cycle through the five stages of grief as they process the change in family dynamics and the new reality.
While dealing with the brand new changes in your family, your child might at first feel shocked and in denial of the situation. You will want to gently reinforce to them that while some things will change, others will not. They still have your love and support.
Sometimes anger manifests as the child picking one parent over the other during the divorce. They might then direct their anger at the other parent. If you are the parent your child is angry at, as hurtful as it feels, know that this is a normal part of grief.
Again, continue reinforcing that you love them. Remain patient as your child works through their emotions.
Your child might spend time trying to think of scenarios that could keep you and your ex together. They might feel like they caused your divorce and that their parents would still be together if not for them.
Your child may view your breakup with their other parent as a desertion of them, as well. Depression takes over and your child may withdraw from normal routines as they mourn their pre-divorce lives.
At this point, your child fully realizes that their parents will not get back together and begin to accept their new normal.
Understanding the five stages of grief and how they may impact your child can help you help them cope with your divorce.