Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

A lot of kids have to go through the traumatic events of their parents’ divorce and the fallout can be very devastating. It won’t be tough on the parents only but also the little ones that they have brought to this planet. Their reaction is highly dependent on their personality, age and the way the divorce takes place. 

Undoubtedly, they will be affected to a certain extent and that’s why they need to be helped get through this. How can that be accomplished? Here are five ways to help your child through a divorce:

Notifying them

Once the divorce lawyers have settled everything, it would be too late to start trying to notifying your child. Because of that, you will need to tell them before everything is finalized or before even the proceedings begin. 

Telling the child that you are parting the same week that the other parent leaves the house and everything separated is detrimental and traumatic. If you feel the need to ask advice from a child psychologist, you can freely do so because it will improve the way you project the matter.

Be ready for their reaction

As a parent, you should be ready for the reaction of your child, which could be tantrums, anxiety or other mood problems. However, sometimes you can expect that there might be no reaction at all. The cause of that might be that the children are still trying to process the whole ordeal and making sense of it. 

At the same time, you should also be ready to answer questions that reveal the future living arrangements and how frequently he will see the other parent. Be honest when conversing with them and don’t hide any truths that will affect them as time goes on.

Help them cope 

The main hope they will keep alive is that their parents will someday get back together and be a family again. That hope can remain even when the divorce has been finalized and everything has been settled. 

It is your responsibility as the parent to ensure that the child understands the decision you have taken. However, don’t make them feel like their feelings are disregarded but rather legitimize their feelings. Also, encourage them to be honest about their feelings and not close themselves in.

Keep the relationship consistent

The reactions to the divorce in kids can take time to be evident and if parents aren’t there to support them, they might find solace in nefarious activities. Mostly teenagers can start being involved in substance abuse and smoking if you sense that something is wrong with your child, try and engage with them. 

There will be some behavioral changes but you just need to be there to ensure that they don’t develop dangerous coping mechanisms. Also, ensure that you are a present parent even at school, if there are changes in grades or behavior at school, there might be a problem.

Avoid causing conflict in front of the kids

The situation will already be unbearable to the kids and because of that, you should try and avoid upsetting them even further at all costs. Remember that most children probably liked having both parents present and seeing them part can be very painful. 

Fighting in front of the kids can exacerbate the problem of processing all that is happening and it can spiral out of control. Despite that, conflicting in front of children sets a bad example for the children and they will start using spiteful language also. As time goes on, they will also be bitter because they saw it while they were kids.

 

 

Filed under: Life

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