How To Guide Your Family Through A DivorceJune 21, 2014
For children at any age, seeing their parents go through a divorce can be stressful, sad and extremely confusing. As a parent, it’s your job to reassure them that everything will be fine – but there’s more to it. Helping your kids cope means providing some form of stability in your home and attending to your children’s needs with a happy, positive attitude. It most certainly won’t be easy, but you need to take some of the following tips on board to keep your children from straying off and becoming depressed.
As a parent, it’s normal to feel uncertain about how to give your children the right support through your divorce or separation, because at the same time you’re stressed and perhaps a little lost and confused. It may be uncharted territory, but you can successfully navigate this unsettling time and help your kids emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong.
There are many ways you can help your kids adjust to separation or divorce. Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimise tension as children learn to cope with new circumstances. By providing routines kids can rely on, you remind children they can rely on you for stability, structure, and care. If you can maintain a working relationship with your ex, you can help kids avoid the stress that comes with watching parents in conflict. Such a transitional time can’t be without some measure of hardship, but you can powerfully reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority. There is always commercial mediation if you require that extra bit of professional guidance.
What to tell your children
When it comes to talking about the fact you’re splitting up with your husband, many mothers freeze because it’s not an easy thing to explain to a child. Anticipate the tough, confrontational questions that may be thrown your way and plan your response carefully.
The key aspect is to not place the blame in anyone’s hands. It will only make the child negatively view the parent and grow up to blame them for everything.
Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We don’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.
However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed, or won’t change, is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from making their breakfast to helping with homework.
Warn your kids about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go. Address the situation with a subtle, child-friendly tone. You don’t want it to sound like it’s the end of the world, nor do you want to fill them with false hope.
At the end of the day, you’re all in this together as a family. Treat it with care, get the professional help if you need it, and stay positive. Now is the time to be super mom to keep your kids happy.