How Parents Can Help Children Cope with Divorce
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How parents can help children cope with divorce?
Are you someone who is going through the time of getting a divorce? Your marriage is not working, and you think it is better not to endure it further. Perhaps you are already divorced and anxiously worried about your children’s emotional health.
Family conflicts happen inside every household, and this can sometimes lead to divorce. Due to divorce and the anxiety of separation, the amount of stress that is felt by children is monstrous, and the potential for this trauma to affect negatively in their life is quite high.
Their reaction varies to this sudden trauma in their life, some feel shocked and angry, while some kids blame themselves for family disputes. Nonetheless, the trauma is big enough to shatter them emotionally. So there is a need for parents to know how to handle their children in such hostile situations.
The most important thing that you can do to make children cope with divorce is
1) Age-appropriate information:
Many children go through the tough time of their parents’ divorce; they think that that broken family will change their lives to the point where no one will be on their side. Many of them have important questions on their mind when going through such a phase.
They wonder about, “What is going to happen to me? Is everything going to change? Where will I live?” All these questions really shatter them emotionally. Both parents must let them know precisely about what will change in their life, and what will remain unchanged.
Answering these questions honestly will make them come out of their uncertain mind and deal with reality in a much stronger way.
2) Effective parenting:
Showing unconditional love to your children in this phase of uncertainty will help them cope with divorce of their parents. This can happen by snuggling your child and giving genuine display of love and care for them. By creating time for common routines of physical activities, and becoming more responsive to their verbal and non-verbal cues can help them cope with their parents’ divorce.
Love is a must obviously, but at the same time disciplining and establishing clear rules and limits are also important. It’s necessary to enforce those limits on your child to prevent their involvement with deviant peers. It has been observed that children who are going through their parents’ divorce may commit some acts of crime such as bullying etc. So it’s better for parents to monitor their acts and make their children abide by the law. Effective communication can play a part in controlling their emotions.
3) Understanding hidden emotions:
Asking your child to identify and name their feelings is the easy way to understand what is going on in their unconscious mind. As a parent, you should be able to catch their hidden feelings behind those non-verbal cues, and this can happen only if you increase the time of one-on-one interaction with them. The more you interact with them, the more your child will likely open up and show their emotions to you, and for this, you have to be patient and non-judgmental.
4) Reduce the number of changes:
Your children are already going through the biggest change that they might have never expected, which is their parents’ divorce. They wonder about _“What will happen to my relationship with my parents and my family? Are my siblings going to get separated from me? Will they take my pets away? Am I not allowed to meet my extended family from now? Am I going to change my school”_ you need to help them reduce worry about such questions in their mind, and this can be done by maintaining the already established structure and routine in their life. Let the routine change naturally as they grow.
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No parent going through a divorce needs the added stress, anxiety and worry of how their actions are negatively affecting their children.
By understanding how to minimize the negative aspects of divorce for children, knowing the typical responses of children to divorce, and working with the other parent to maintain the loving, nurturing environment that a child needs through the divorce, parents can help children to adjust to their new lifestyle.