helping your children cope with the separation
Children suffer as much as the parents in a separation, perhaps even more. Children, especially those below 5 years old, have difficulty in understanding the reasons for the breakup of their parents. Those who do understand are expected to experience confusion and uncertainty.
Naturally, children will want their parents to get back together and things go back to what they were. On the other hand, continuous fighting between the parents is an unhealthy environment for the children more than the separation. Thus, it behoves parents to make sure that they guide and support their children during this difficult time. They must not foster hate against the other parent and thereby influence their children. It is always best for the children that parents maintain an amicable relationship with each other. At times like this parents must first consider the children and set aside their own interests.
Parents should both strive to:
- Reassure their children that they still love them;
- Not make the children choose between their parents;
- Assure the children that they are not to blame;
- Encourage the children to talk about their feelings;
- Listen sympathetically to the children’s feelings and opinions;
- Maintain open communications with each other and not let the children see fights or arguments;
- Keep the children out of your arguments;
- Ask emotional support from other adults rather than turning to the children;
- Keep the teacher informed of the separation and continuously ask for feedback on the behaviour of the children in school;
- Always consider the children’s welfare above your own.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.