Divorces are difficult but the involvement of children can make them even more complicated. The trauma of their parents’ divorce affects countless kids every year. Their reaction depends on aspects such as their personality, age, plus the circumstances prior to the divorce process. Shock, sorrow, anger, and concern are just a few of the expected emotions displayed by them when they realize that the process is imminent. But the emotional scars left by divorce take time to heal and can often impact a child throughout their life.
If you are about to go through a divorce and have children, here are some ways you can help them cope.
- Tell them About the Divorce Gently
Sit down with your partner and tell the kids about the divorce in a gentle way. Initiate the discussion according to the child’s age and maturity. Reassure them that it is not their fault in any way so they shouldn’t blame themselves.
Emphasize that parents and kids never stop caring for each other even if they decide to stay apart. Reply to their queries as truthfully and sincerely as possible. Let the child give vent to his emotions without you condemning the other parent.
- Always Encourage Candour
Assist your kids to translate their feelings like sadness or anger into words. Listen to what they have to say even if you don’t like what they are saying. Tell them it is quite normal to hope that their parents will reunite someday but also elucidate the finality of your decision.
- Try to Avoid Abusing Each Other in Front of the Kids
Your child feels incredibly stressful in a background of incessant antagonism and conflict. Try to avoid quarrelling, extreme hostility or screaming in front of the kids. This can lead to long-term behavioural and emotional issues in your kids.
Talk with a divorce counsellor such as Prime Family Lawyers Sydney to vent grievances without the process adversely affecting your kids.
- Let them Gradually Adjust to the Changes in the Living Arrangements
A divorce can be a major upheaval in your life so let the kids gradually adjust to the new living arrangements. See to it that your child`s needs are met regardless of the arrangement you opt for. Select a mutually beneficial option for spending birthdays, holidays and vacations with your kids. Avoid asking your kids to choose and try to resolve these issues on your own.
- Aspire for an Amicable Transition
Kids get uneasy if they sense friction between you and your partner so try to be civil to your spouse for the sake of your kids. If you cannot do this ask your ex to pick up your child from neutral places such as a friend’s house or from school. This will make your partner feel more at ease during pickups. Also, reassure your kids that they don’t have to feel tensed about you or their future.
Extend support to your kids through small acts such as sitting together or taking a walk with them. Ensure that you work with your spouse to maintain discipline and the daily schedule in both households at least till the time your kids feel secured and settled in their new life.