At any age divorce may be confusing, depressing and stressful for children. At times they may feel angry, frustrated at the idea of their parent’s separation. Some children have immediate intense reactions or others may be less affected immediately but cannot cope up with the separation for years, this may have long term negative consequences. It is obvious that after separation the behaviour of children may change.
For the new situation of the children, long term adjustment entirely depends upon how the transition and the quality of relationship with the parents after separation is handled. Girls adapt to divorce more easily compared to boys. Kidsafterseparation generally experience mix of contradictory feelings which includes confusion, fear, anger, guilt, sadness. They are often in bad mood along with overreacting to the simplest problem. Behavioural and aggression problems are commonly experienced after separation. They may underperform academically as a result of their parent’s breakup, they may feel abandoned, worried or blame the other parent. They may also feel responsible for their parent’s breakup, and they may also experience difficulties in handling their relationships like ignoring friends. At this point parents may also feel guilty of having caused their children with such immense problems. Kids after separation may also have sleeping problems and lose interest in playing his or her favourite games or hobbies. Some children may become more timid or more irritable along with less sociable. Sometimes they may feel anxious and depressed. Children from broken homes are often more likely to experience higher incidences of criminality, drug use, broken marriages in their own life’s along with gripping depression. These reactions are normal in the first step but if not handled properly this may have long term effects which persists for years. At this point they may be taken for counselling.
To help kids to cope with the divorce , stability must be provided in one’s house and also attend to the children’s needs with a positive and reassuring attitude. At first this process may be stressful but its outcome may be rewarding.
Tips to help children cope with the divorce
Here are some tips to help children cope with the divorce.
Supporting one’s child through a divorce.
At times, parents may also feel uncertain about the situation like how to give the right emotional support to one’s children through a divorce or separation. To successfully navigate through this unchartered territory one has to be mentally and emotionally strong so that they can support their kids to emerge from the separation feeling strong, loved and confident. There are numerous ways in which one can help their children in adjusting to the separation such as being by the side of one’s kids when they need their parents the most especially on their birthdays, exams, festivals and when they feel sick etc. This transitional times may have hardships for the parents who have undergone a divorce but making their children’s top priority may help their children to reduce their pain. Kids after separation may at times may feel the need of both their mom and dad. At this point they tend to create a list of wants and wishes in their minds which they feel need to be fulfilled by their parents.
A child’s perspective who has undergone a separation or divorce of his parents is given below;
I need both my parents to be involved in my life.
I want to talk my heart out to both of you.
When you both don’t stay involved I feel like I’m being neglected and not important in your lives.
When you’ll fight concerning me I think I’m somewhere wrong and I feel guilty.
I want to enjoy the time which I spent with each of you and cherish these moments later on in my life but if you say mean about my other parent I feel sad like you are expecting me to take your side and love you more than my other parent which makes me feel that you no longer love me as you were loving me before.
Please remember that I want both of my parents to be a part of my life and not blaming each other on one’s mistakes as that time could have been cherished more fruitfully.
You need to teach me what is good and bad and help me cope with my problems whenever I encounter them in my life and remember that I love both of you equally.
The parents must also inculcate listening and reassuring habit for their children. Supporting your children to express their emotions and listening to their feelings is the most precious thing you can do for your children. Make them reassure, straighten their misunderstandings and show your love for them, help them find words for their feelings depending upon their moods. Make them share their true feelings and acknowledge them. Sometimes telling your children the real reason behind your separation can help them deal with the divorce. At this point kids must be handled with patience and endurance. Maintaining routine in both their parents separate homes may help to some extent. Never argue or fight in front of your children. Be gentle and polite in your interactions with your ex-spouse. This sets a good example in the eyes of your children. Strengthen your weaknesses and encourage one’s children todo the same. The happiness along with the development of physical, emotional and psychology of yourself, your children and also your ex must be given paramount importance. Both the parents must try to work it out in favour of their kids. One should avoid sarcasm, rudeness and insults of the other parent in front of the children.
Co-parenting is the best option in favour of one’s child. It not only gives the child quality time with both his parents but also assures him or her that both of their parents love them and are there in times of difficulties. Co-parenting can also be made to work out with the help of counsellors, mediators and professional coaches. In the co-parenting bargain never try to punish the other parent by denying them time with one’s children or making the child as the bargaining chip, messenger, prize or a spy. In the end most important thing is satisfaction and happiness which indeed has to be cherished.