Divorces are definitely not pleasant and can drain one in more ways than one. Children are the actual casualties of divorces. It is not only the couple that has to endure the divorce but the kids as well. Kids also feel that stress and the impact of it all can last a really long time. If the divorce is not handled well, the effects of the divorce can be felt way into adulthood. So, the decision to get a divorce has become irreversible and it has to go through given the circumstances, how can couples help their children deal with divorce?
It is vital for a parent to pay a lot of attention and listen. Listen to your child to ensure that your child knows that their opinion matters and that they are not insignificant. Maintain a healthy relationship with your child as this will help them open up about the divorce along the way and you can work it all out together.
It is also important to break the news of the divorce to your child in person. This has to be done by both parents at the same time. Practice this discussion beforehand so that by the time you are doing this, you shall have worked out how to do so without bringing in feelings of anger, resentment, hurt and blame. Find out what is co-parenting and all that it entails not excluding the child support guidelines. Respond to their questions as this will help your child understand more about what is to happen.
The kids will definitely react and in different times and ways. It goes without saying that the kids will react but it is important to help them through it all. You should let them know that it is okay for them to be upset and let them know that you care about how they feel. Not all kids will react as soon as the divorce is finalized but they might hold to their feelings a little bit longer. These kids either want to please you as the parent or they just are not ready to deal with all these difficult feelings. Give them time and let them know that when they are ready, you are there for them.
Well, when they first react, they need to be able to cope with reality. They hope that their parents will be back together and everything will be back to normal. They will definitely miss their family as it was and want it back. Let them know that you understand what they want but don’t encourage them and give any false promises. Encourage them and let them know what your plans are so that they won’t have false hope.