No one walks down the aisle with divorce on his or her mind. Dreams of custody battles and financial frustrations don’t typically accompany that uniquely romantic moment. Yet divorce comes, sometimes when you least expect it.

And the heartbreak doesn’t only impact the bride and groom – it’s the children who end up scared and uncertain as their family falls apart.

How to support your kids

So what can you do? When divorce comes unexpectedly to your doorstep, how can you give your children the best chance to heal? How do you allow them the chance to be kids, answer their tough questions and ultimately help them move on to a future defined by hope and security?

It is no easy task, but you can help your children one step at a time.

  1. Take care of yourself: As the sole parent, it’s important that you have some friends you can count on, boundaries in place and priorities settled.
  2. Help your children heal: Take time in prayer, listen to their fears and be honest about your own shortcomings.
  3. Let your kids be kids: It can be tempting to turn to your children for comfort and strength, but that forces young hearts to become adults all too soon.
  4. Handle the tough questions: There will be times when your child will ask questions that tear at the very heart of you. Take a deep breath, sit with them and walk them through their feelings.
  5. Believe for a future: Almost every single parent worries that their child will repeat the story – that their children will encounter divorce and hardship. Yet as you help your children heal, you will discover that history does not have to repeat itself.

Elsa Kok Colopy is the former editor of Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family magazine. She now writes and speaks full time, leading retreats, seminars and workshops. Elsa pens the companion blog, Pure Love, Pure Life. She also pens a second blog, God Has Dimples.

© 2004 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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