A divorce or separation is known to be very hard, difficult on everyone involved from the couples to their children and the family in general. The switch from a life that was to the new world they will be faced with is quite difficult but most importantly children are impacted by this incident.
In most situations, the life of the child is changed totally from a stable and safe environment to one that may be filled with a number of tussles like a custody battle, bitterness amongst the couple and this, in turn, will impact the overall upbringing of the child. Many children are known to suffer from several unspoken issues coming from the divorce and separation of their parents.
Today we share with parents 10 tips to help their kids handle divorce or separation and the many emotions they may go through.
Read also: 10 Tips To Heal After Divorce
- Plan on how you would break the news to the kids
This news will be one of the most painful and difficult pieces of information they would ever have to process so you should know how to break such news to them. Most times it’s better for both parties to present when you want to do this so they can both speak and give the children a full grasp of the incident.
- Assure your children of a united front and happy life
The greatest fear of most kids after a painful divorce or separation is that the utopian world they once knew is now gone. At this moment reassure your children that you both will always be there for them, love them, and also support their dreams. Remind them that their happiness is everything to you and you will do all to keep it.
- Be very clear that they are not the cause of the separation.
Children worry that they are to blame for the separation or divorce. Explain that this is an adult problem and there was nothing your children could do to prevent it. They also need to know that there is nothing they (or others) can do to change it. Help them understand that the divorce is final. Let them understand that it is one painful thing adults deal with.
- Find out their emotions
After breaking the big news to your kids ask them how they feel and make them talk about their emotions, ask their burning questions as it helps you understand how they feel and where they stand.
- Provide support to address their emotions
Spend more time with them at this time so they can express their emotions adequately to you. Let them speak with a counselor or child therapist if they can have access to one.
- Ease them into a transition plan
New homes, new schools, new environments make divorce and separation harder to deal with. Ease them into a simple transition plan that doesn’t totally upset their old memories. It’s time to put away your selfish reasons and be more practical about the child/children’s wellbeing.
- Create a stable environment
Whatever reminds them of their old stable life should be made to stay while you introduce the new life. Like a regular visitation from the other partner, spending time with children, friends, etc.
- Don’t fight or speak ill about each other in front of the children
No matter how bad or hurt you feel never speak ill about the other partner in front of the kids. They have always loved the party in question so don’t plat hatred or hurt in their hearts to make yourself feel better.
- Don’t use the children as a weapon or tool in the divorce or separation
If you need to communicate with the other parent, text messages and email can provide neutral means of communicating. If your relationship with the other parent is tenuous or strained, a trained mediator or parent coordinator may serve as a neutral third party to facilitate communications and resolve disputes. Don’t threaten each other with the kids it sends a wrong signal to them.
- Let them spend time with their favourite adults at this time
The mental health of the children is important at this time so let them spend time with their favourite adults outside of you both at this time. It could be their godparents, other family members, or family friends. They could share how they feel with these ones and you understand how your child/children are coping.
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