Helping your child deal with divorce: 15 Tips to follow.A divorce or separation is very stressful and emotional for the people involved. But this decision mostly affects children. They take a lot of time to get accustomed to the sudden change in their life. Every year, thousands and thousands of families undergo separation and with the year the divorce rate is on an increase.
Every divorce affects the kids involved, and a lot of time their initial reactions may be anger, sadness, hopelessness, frustration, etc. Different children express in different ways.
On some occasions, they remain silent and keep the pain of their parent’s separation within them. So, parents should find ways to overcome such situations from their kids.
How to help kids cope with the decision of divorce?
- Spend some quality time with the kids
- Try and keep each parent involved in the kid’s life
- Help them to put their feelings into words
- Encourage honesty
- Offer support and care
- Try and minimize the disruption’s to kids’ routine
- Keep all the heated arguments and legal terms away from the kids
Tips to help the little ones deal with the divorce
Adults going through a divorce need support from friends, family, and professionals but do not seek support from the kids. It’s the kid who needs support from the parent.
This is a difficult task to share with your kids. Most parents just freeze when they are trying to talk about getting separated. So, try and make the conversation a bit easier for the two of you. If you face anxiety issues first deal with it, plan carefully how will you convey the news to them and be armed to face many out of the box questions.
Tell the truth
This might be difficult from your part but trust me you should keep things transparent as far as possible. Tell the truth, however bitter they might seem. Your kids should know the true reason for your separation.
Take it a little slow
Don’t panic and hurry in such situations. Take your time and then convey the news. Don’t hesitate. Be confident and at the same time be honest with what you say.
Be prepared to face many out of the syllabus question. In such situations, you should remain calm. The questions might get more bitter as your story proceeds, but try and not lose your patience. You should handle these initial steps very carefully as they are sensitive to your kids.
Address the changes
While having the conversation you should not forget to mention certain changes they might face in their lives. Not everything will change but some will surely do and that together you both will be able to handle such changes.
It is necessary to be true to your kids but don’t allow them to blame your spouse. This can be difficult in case of infidelity, but try and not to play the blame game. You should be as true as possible and let your child not blame or be cruel to them.
Help your child grieve the divorce
Let the child grieve about the loss. For almost all kids, divorce is nothing less than losing something super precious. The loss of a parent can mean a total crash down of the ideal family they have ever imagined. So, you can help them cope up by allowing them to express their emotions.
Listen to them
This is the foremost thing which you should do first. Firstly, listen to all queries they possess. What are they actually feeling and how are they judging the situation? They may be feeling sad or frustrated which is obvious for them. Hence allow them to speak.
Acknowledge their feelings
You might not be able to change the situation but you can at least acknowledge how your child is feeling. Let them not suppress their feelings. Allow them to discuss with you and not misjudge or misinterpret anything.
Allow them to remain honest
Children can feel guilty about hurting their parents, and that is why they prefer being dishonest. Give them the assurance that you will be okay. Allow them to share their true feelings without thinking too much about it.
Let kids not blame themselves
Many kids believe that they are the reason why their parents are separating. Hence, they feel guilty and regret about the matter. They feel that their naughtiness, poor grades, and their mischief are the reasons for separation. Therefore, these unwanted and unnecessary misconceptions have to be dealt with.
Provide stability through the divorce
How do you think can you provide such stability to your child while dealing with your divorce? Sounds tough but yes nothing seems easy here. Try and do the necessary for your child. Remember you both are getting divorced but that child is somewhat the sign of your love. Hence, don’t neglect it.
Your child needs to care for and love. Don’t pamper them but yes be liberal at times. Give them hugs, kisses, and cuddle them. Try and make things easy for them.
It will be okay
Tell your kids that things won’t always be as easy as it was but yes everything will be fine. Let them know that their life is first and no compromises will be made.
If you think that you are not being able to deal with your kids properly, you can visit any counselor and seek help. Both you and your child can attend such counseling sessions to heal from the loss.
Adjusting to a new life
Several types of situations should be considered:
- one parent may have sole custody
- joint custody in which both legal and physical custody is shared
There are many tough choices in life. Single Mother Parenting is not an easy choice. The same goes for single father parenting. But for a kid to choose among one parent is the toughest. Often children in many cases stay with their mother and occasionally the father gets the custody to meet their child. It’s always difficult to leave one and choose another. A child needs both their parent in several ways. Often in cases of the divorce, they find themselves juggling in between their parents. Therefore, you should discuss with your ex and make the situation comfortable for your child.
Don’t mislead or tell false stories to them. Stay transparent and spend as much time as possible. Let them know that you both are separated for a cause but you both still love them the same. Avoid getting into a tug of war as a way to win the situation. Remember winning is not a solution. Your child should need the best of life and no compromise should be made in that field. The choice of separation is solely dependent on the adult and the child should not be blamed.
Some red alert for a serious problem
Your kid can feel depressed. Watch such signs for divorce-related depression in kid:
- sleep problem
- drug abuse
- problem with the peer group
- withdrawal from the loved ones
- frequent anger and frustration
If such problems persist it’s better to consult a therapist and handle the situation with care.
Here are Important Frequently Asked Questions
How can divorce affect a child?
Divorce might have a negative impact on the child. They might feel lonely, bullied in schools that can traumatize them, become introvert, etc. They might become impulsive often. Kids in their teens might not express much and therefore remain silent often.
How do toddlers deal with divorce?
They might become angry or may remain completely silent. They can even ask weird out of the box question. So, try and answer them patiently and carefully.
At what age does divorce mostly affect the child?
According to a study, children age 6-10 are mostly affected than children age 1-2. This is because at their preteen age they develop a deep connection with both their parents and seeing them separate might make them feel at a loss. Whereas at the age of 2-3, kids hardly develop a sense or such strong attachments.
What are the normal reactions of children in case of parent separation?
Anger, mild depression, sadness, keeping quiet, conflicts with the peer group, etc.
How can I assist my angry one after divorce?
You should deal with a lot of patience. Don’t yell at them at that time. Remember its painful for them too. Talk to them and let them speak up their problems.
What are some Single Father Parenting Tips any?
-try to remain calm as far as possible
-create a suitable working schedule
-talk to your kids
-spend quality time
-give them immense love
Changes of any kind are tough, know that you and your kids will soon adjust to the new life. You might feel lonely and no one to talk to. Surely call up your friends or the nearest ones and express your feelings but don’t suppress them. Remember you need to stay healthy in order to keep your child healthy. If your mental peace is disrupted you cannot manage your child. Hence, stay healthy and things will again be fine.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.