Modern Parenting: Helping Kids Cope with Divorce
Couples are not the only ones who suffer from the many different repercussions of a divorce. Children suffer from the stresses and strains of the falling apart, too. Parents should expect that shock, sadness, frustration, worry will all be part of a childâ€™s initial response to the case. These emotions can turn into something worse or destructive if parents donâ€™t take the time to prevent emotions from running wild or anxiety from taking over. Below are some tips divorcing couples can use to explain the case to their children, in an effort to help them cope better:
Break it Gently
Parents should tell their children about their plans only after making a final decision about the separation. Doing so will prevent them from guessing and feeling betrayed. Parents should use words that are appropriate for their child’s age and temperament. When breaking the news, parents should be calm and avoid the use of legal terms. The explanation should be free of any biases, so as to prevent the child from taking sides.
Answering Some Questions
Explaining just once is never enough. Children will undoubtedly want answers to all sorts of questions. When a child asks parents what divorce is, they should explain that it is a sad grown-up process that parents will have to undergo. When they ask if it’s their fault, parents should tell them adamantly that it’s not. Kids tend to blame themselves over it, so parents should take note of it carefully. Divorcing couples should prepare for these questions: “Why did it happen?” “Will we still be family?” “Do you love me?”
Seek Professional Help
There will be times when kids will be consumed by guilt, and they will find it hard to control these emotions. Divorcing couples, especially younger ones, will find dealing with this hard work. They may even end up hurting the kids if they donâ€™t stop. Parents may seek the help of a qualified counselor to deal with this. Counselors take an unbiased approach to the case, and they have techniques to help kids manage and sublimate their frustrations. Divorce is an unpleasant affair, in which children fall as one of the sufferers. Parents should find the best ways to tell their children about this, so as not to cause bad impressions and cause problems in their emotional maturity.
SOURCES: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/talking-to-kids-aboutdivorce/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201112/the-impact-divorceyoung-children-and-adolescents http://www.divorcettorneyinlongisland.com/mediation/