Children react differently to divorce. It’s painful, confusing, and sometimes they blame themselves. As parents, it’s essential to think beyond the two of you and help the children deal with the reality of their parents’ divorce. Even if a lot may change such as where they live, not having both parents in the same house or a lifestyle change, take time to explain, walk with your child and reassure them of how much you love them. Expect different reactions depending on the child’s age and details surrounding the divorce. How do you help your kids cope better?
Let them Know
Don’t let your child know about the divorce from an argument or when one of the parents moves out. Make time to sit with the child and talk about the divorce. As parents don’t argue, show anger, resentment or any negative emotion when talking to the child. Assure her that it’s not her fault and both parents still love her very much. How you break the news depends on the child’s age, temperament and maturity. Don’t hold back any critical information, such as living arrangements. You can even involve her in any plans like checking new homes such as the ones found at Terra Largo.
Handle the Child’s Emotions
Your child may cry, throw a tantrum, or withdraw but deep down, they are hurting and even blaming themselves for the divorce. It’s critical at this stage to reassure the child that even if the parents are separating, she is still loved and has unlimited access to both of you. Encourage her to talk about her feelings, and answer any questions she has. Understand that a lot is going through her mind at the moment. She may be wondering who she will be living with and where, if she has to change school, lose her friends, if you will be going on holidays together, or even make it to camp this summer. As much as you may have your pain and uncertainties to deal with, help your child accept and cope with the news.
Don’t Fight in Front of the Child
Fighting in front of your kids will not only hurt them more but will damage them emotionally. Understand that your child doesn’t want to take sides, and she would like to see you together and happy. As much as you don’t agree with each other, keep the emotions in control when around the child.
Help the Child Adjust
It’s hard for the child not to see her parents together but help her adjust to the new living conditions. As parents, you will have to put up with each other’s company even when you don’t feel like it for the sake of your child. Keep a consistent schedule, such as when she can be with both of you. Keep promises and try to keep her life as normal as possible.
Your child will still have hopes that one day you will get back together. She may even try to talk or do things to bring you back together. Understand that she loves you both very much but try to explain to her the finality of the decision.
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