Divorce is stressful on any couple, even if it is amicable. It's so easy to get caught up in your own emotional roller coaster and the precarious navigation of the divorce process. However, you have to remember that there are innocent children watching, listening and feeling. It is crucial to help them through the process with as little emotional harm as possible.
There are some things that children of divorce should see or hear while they are guided through this difficult stage that will help them adjust more easily. Use this guide to help your children understand that you are still both their parents and that you love them immensely.
Children of all ages look for reasons for their parents getting a divorce and when parents seem unapproachable, it is only natural to look inward. If your child takes the blame onto his shoulders, it will cause serious issues later on. Be sure that he knows it is not his fault.
We all allow our emotions to run away with us from time to time and kids are no different. Be sure that he knows that it's okay to feel a certain way and that our feelings can be one way today, and different tomorrow, but that it's okay.
No matter how supportive we try to be, our children may not want to share their emotions with us. It is important to offer outside support if the child's perceptions about the divorce become irrational or self-destructive.
Children need constant reassurance that, even though both parents may not be present at all times anymore, they still love him just as much as before. Love does not diminish when geographical distance increases.
After a divorce, many children try to measure how much each parent loves them by measuring each parent's actions against that of the other. It is important to help your child understand that money spent and the quality of activities enjoyed together does not mean one parent loves him more. Help him understand that some aspects of parenting after divorce are controlled by logistics and unavoidable consequences.
Be sure that your child understands that he does not change just because his parents are divorcing. The divorce is no reflection on him and his goals, dreams and hopes are still the same.
Your child's relationship with you is private and separate from that with your ex-spouse. Each parent should take every possible step to make the child feel secure in both relationships and interactions should be kept healthy. Parents should not pry into the other relationship or play the "he said, she said" game.
Be sure that your child understands that marriage is a private affair and that he or she is not privy to the details. The child's role is that of a child to the mother, and to the father.
At some point, we all loved being married and the fact that it failed, does not mean that marriage is an innately negative institution. While there are no guarantees as to the success of any marriage, it can be wonderful experience under the right circumstances.
Children have to know that, while change is difficult, it is inevitable too. Divorce can be used to turn an undesirable situation into something much better.
As parents, we want the best for our children. Positive co-parenting and a positive attitude can help our children to develop a healthy mindset and emotions, too.