It’s well known that when things go wrong in the home, children tend to blame themselves for it. Can you imagine what your child is going through once he/she hears that you and your spouse are getting divorced? If you do not handle this situation correctly, there is no telling what harmful effects the divorce can have on him or her.
It’s important to communicate with your child throughout the divorce so that he can adjust to the new family dynamic in the easiest and healthiest way possible.
You and your spouse have decided to get divorced, so it’s both your responsibility to explain the reasons to your child. This can be difficult, especially if your child is young. You need to explain the situation to him or her at their level of understanding. Failing to communicate with your child is only going to exacerbate the belief that the divorce is all his or her fault. Let your child know that the divorce is about you and your spouse, and more importantly, that you both love him or her more than life itself.
This can be a tough one as you will be meeting with lawyers and your future ex to thrash out the details of the divorce. Nevertheless, your child needs both of your now more than ever so that he or she does not feel guilty about the divorce and that it does not change the relationships between the child and either parent. It’s only natural for a child of divorce to experience self-esteem issues at first, and the assurances that both parents love him or her unconditionally will go a long way towards helping the child maintain his or her self-esteem.
You are a parent 24/7, not only when your child is staying with you. If your child is visiting with your ex, you should keep in contact electronically via phone, SMS or instant message. Children often relate better to written words than spoken words so send SMS texts as often as you can. Regular communication with you will affirm that you love him or her and that everything is fine in your relationship.
Adhering to these tips will help your child cope better with the stress of the divorce. It’s imperative that you never discuss anything negative associated with the divorce, such as who is to blame, financial issues or bad-mouthing your ex. Your child’s emotional well being is most important to his or her functioning regarding going to school, achieving on the sports field and maintaining a degree of normalcy amongst peers and friends.