We all know divorce is painful but we often forget about how divorce affects children. Trying to see the situation from their perspective will help you guide them through this very difficult and intense period of their life. The most important step is the way you and the other parent will break the news. But any misstep you make at this point can always be corrected, it takes knowledge, patience, commitment and lots of love.
How Divorce Affects Children
There are many ways divorce affects children, and parents make things worse when they do not educate themselves on this very important subject. Divorce affects children differently depending on their age but also the circumstances and your attitude. But no matter the age and maturity of your children, their initial response will more than likely be of
Guilt – Anxiety – Fear – Frustration – Anger – Sadness – Shock
Small children: They have probably picked up on negative vibes, you need to reassure them. The less you disrupt their routine, the more you reassure them, the better they will handle it in the end.
They are attached to both of you, you need to both stay close to them
Older children: They will be worried about their day to day life but may hide their feelings of guilt, you need to explain to them that none of this is their fault.
Teenagers: They might react violently and get in trouble, get an attitude and act out but some will play it cool and just worry about changing school and losing their friends.
Either way do not confide in them but observe, talk, comfort, reassure
Adult children: In many cases, they will want to take side, get involved, understand why, what and how. Because they are adults and may have a family of their own doesn’t make it any less painful for them.
What You Can Do to Help Them
The dos and don’ts of parenting through divorce. It seems to be coming from common sense but because emotions are flying high, even the more balanced and level-headed, loving parents will make mistakes
- Present the situation as calmly and positively as possible
- Keep them involved in the other parent’s life
- Keep the other parent involved in your kid’s life
- Avoid changes in their daily routine
- Seek comfort from your children
- Involve them in the fight
- Use them as leverage
- Show your pain and your anger
Once you understand how divorce affects children and what your role is in the process, you will be able to turn things around, take the necessary steps. Organize their future in a way that will bring them comfort and keep them close to the other parent.
Find your way to an easier divorce with Divorce Help.