Divorce is hard on kids and adults and friends and neighbors. There is nothing easy about divorce. It requires a mind shift about expectations, dreams and plans for the future.
No matter how agonizing this is for the adults involved, you have to be supportive for your children. Children need to be told what is happening, and depending on their ages and vulnerabilities, they may need to hear a little bit about why.
Answer Questions Truthfully
There will be lots of questions right away and many, many more as you all go through this journey. They may ask specific questions about where will I go to school, where will I live, where will dad or (mom) live?
The often unasked question, but one that most children harbor in their heart is; “Did I somehow cause this? Is it my fault?”
Reassure Them Frequently
Even infants and toddlers can react negatively with sleep, toilet training and eating. Preschoolers may start to hit or have temper tantrums. School problems, bed-wetting or hyperactive can be a usual reactions for school age children. Teens, tweens and even adult children may feel depressed, lonely, devalued, anxious or even ashamed.
Adults must put the needs of the child first and be a resource of reassurance in their life. The burden of being the “grown-ups” must fall on the caring adults. This isn’t always easy to do when there is anger, disappointment and betrayal.
No matter how angry you get, don’t tell your children that you hate your spouse or focus on the bad points. Your kids are part of that person, and may very well feel that you are saying you hate them too.
Cooperate On The Children
Kids need to be reassured that they will be safe and cared for. Parents need to find a way to cooperate with each other over parenting issues. Put the needs and emotions of children first. Do not expect them to be pawns in a struggle or to be involved in loyalty contests, that is not their job.
Divorce doesn’t have to be devastating, but can be a growing experience and an opening to closer communication with all the parties who are involved.
If you need additional assistance with parenting, please claim the free 10 week e-course on transforming your family at http://www.DisciplineYesPunishNo.com
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker