Divorces are definitely not pleasant and can drain one in more ways than one. Children are the actual casualties of divorces. It is not only the couple that has to endure the divorce but the kids as well. Kids also feel that stress and the impact of it all can last a really long time. If the divorce is not handled well, the effects of the divorce can be felt way into adulthood. What then can a parent do to help their child deal with divorce if the decision to have is final?
The first thing you must do is to listen. Pay a lot of attention to what your child is saying as this will help your child know that he or she is being heard. Ensure you have maintained a healthy relationship with your kids and they will keep you posted on their feelings along the way which you can work out together.
It is also important to break the news of the divorce to your child in person. Both parents need to be there for this. Having a discussion with your spouse beforehand about how the news will be broken to your child will help you keep off feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, and blame during the discussion. Understand what co-parenting is and what it entails beforehand including the child support guidelines that are in place. Respond to their questions as this will help your child understand more about what is to happen.
The kids will definitely react and in different times and ways. You should be ready for this and know how to help them and handle the reactions. Tell them that you care about how they feel and it is okay that it is okay for them to be upset. You will realize that not all kids will react as you expect them too because some of them will keep their feelings hidden and act like they are okay. Some of them are afraid to feel sad and don’t know how to handle all the feelings or they just want to please you. Don’t try hurry them at all but be patient and allow them to come when they are ready.
Well, when they first react, they need to be able to cope with reality. Don’t take away their right to hope that things will be back to normal and mom and dad will be back together. They miss the kind of family they were used to and hoped for. Let them know that you understand what they want but don’t encourage them and give any false promises. Encourage them and let them know what your plans are so that they won’t have false hope.