Separation has sadly become a common story nowadays. You meet with your significant other for the first time and then you realise that you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her. Then a very serious problem puts a rift on your relationship, the next thing you know you’re calling Prime Lawyers or other legal counsel to settle your dispute. And who gets in the middle of the cross-fire? Your children. For them it can be doubly stressful, confusing, and sad. However, you can help them cope with the separation and make them understand what’s happening. Here are ways in which you can help your child deal with the situation.
Let them know that they are loved
One of the first things parents need to do is to make sure their kids know that the divorce isn’t about them. Kids would usually blame themselves even if it isn’t really their fault. They think that if they were more behaved, had better grades, maybe the divorce would not have happened. This causes a loss of self-esteem. They need to know that the separation isn’t their fault, and their parents need to constantly reassure them of this.
Don’t badmouth each other
If the reason for the divorce will not threaten them in any way and is strictly because of irreconcilable differences, do not involve the kids on it. Avoid badmouthing each other. It is important that parents don’t point fingers at each other so that the kids wouldn’t have to think about blaming any of you.
Encourage them to express their feelings about the divorce
Allow them to express what they think about the separation. It is important to let them know that it is only natural to feel confused, sad, or even maybe angry at the situation. Don’t force a cheerful atmosphere, let them transition to it naturally.
Find new ways to spend time with them
The kids will now be dividing their time between the parents, and sometimes this affects the quality time parents spend with their children. To make it meaningful for you and your kids, try finding new rituals to enjoy. Maybe have breakfast or dinner every Wednesday, or a horror film night every Friday. Any new activity as long as it is fun for the kids will definitely help them cope with the situation.
Never lie to them
If you can’t make it to an event, never lie to them about your reasons behind it. Don’t even sugar-coat excuses, just tell it to them straight. There is nothing worse than lying especially in a situation like this. More importantly, let them vent out if they feel bad about your absence. They will understand eventually, but let them express their feelings about it.
As parents, it is only normal to feel hesitant with telling kids about the separation. But to alleviate their feelings of guilt and sadness, honestly telling them about the status of their parents’ relationship will help them more than hiding the reasons from them.