Family Tips for Children During A Divorce or Separation
A divorce or separation can be one of the most stressful things in life, especially for the children.
When times get tough, such as when going through a difficult divorce, you must remember to be the best parent you can be. You may feel uncertain about how to give your children the right support they need through this process. It may be uncharted territory for you. Remember, as a parent, you have the skills and assets to pull through any situation. You will help your children emerge from this divorce feeling loved, confident, and strong.
A child needs both of their parents to stay active in his/her life. Don’t forget to write them letters, make phone calls, and ask them lots of questions. If you don’t stay involved, it makes them feel like they are not important and unloved.
Attempt to minimize the anger, jealousy, and pettiness in front of your children.
Try your best to stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to your children. Disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing doesn’t help your child. When you fight about your children, they think that they did something wrong, which can make them feel guilty.
Your children love you both and enjoy the time that they spend with each of you. Be sure to support them the best that you can. They value your company more than you know. If you start to act jealous or upset, your children will then begin to feel like they need to take sides and have to love one parent more than the other.
Do not use your children as a middleman and have them send messages back and forth. Talk to the other parent yourself; this is very important for the child’s sake.
When talking to the other parent or about the other parent in front of your children, remember to be respectful. When you say mean things about the other parent, your children feel like you are expecting them to take your side.
Remember that your children want both of their parents to be a part of their life. They count on both their mother and father to raise them, teach them what is important, and help them when they have problems.
It may be very difficult to talk with your children about a divorce or separation. The best way to approach this situation is by being honest in a kid-friendly way.
Be sure to tell your children the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce or splitting up but remember that long and hard reasons may confuse them. Try to pick something short, simple, and honest like “We just can’t get along anymore.”
You also may need to keep reminding them that while sometimes parents can split up or stop loving each other, parents and kids do not stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.
Remember to tell your children that you love them. No matter how simple it may sound, letting your kids know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a very powerful message. Let them know that you will always be there for them in almost every way, from helping them with their homework, cooking their breakfast, and tucking them in.
Be sure to talk about the changes that will happen in your children’s lives. Let them know about any moving arrangements, visitation, and other large (and small) changes. Talking about changes early, before they happen, will give your children time to process the news and ask questions.
Be sure to communicate to your children that you will be able to deal with these problems as they come. Reassure them that you will attempt to answer their questions as best you can.
It is very important to always be honest with your children, but be sure to not be critical of your spouse.
This can be very difficult, especially if the relationship ended on a sour note. Try your best to not play the blame game; this will get you nowhere with the relationship with your children.
It may be hard, but it is best to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce and stick to it. Be sure to make plans with your children before you start to apply any changes in your living arrangements.
Be respectful as much as possible to your spouse and your children. Remember that the children are small and helpless. They don’t have the emotional maturity that you have to process these changes. Give them time and space without judgment.
Knowing how much information to tell your kids can be very difficult, especially through rough and emotional times. There are a few things that you should be aware of.
Make sure that you are speaking in a way that your children will understand. Younger children will do better with fewer details and a simple explanation, while older kids will need more details to understand.
Be sure to inform your children of the changes in logistics. Make sure you tell your kids about the changes in their living arrangements, activities, or school, but don’t overwhelm them with details.
Always tell the truth. It does not matter how much you decide to tell your children, but whatever you tell them, make sure that you are being very truthful and honest.
It is not uncommon for children to feel like they had something to do with the divorce or situation by recalling all the times that they argued with their parents, received poor grades in school, or got in trouble. You can help your kids let go of this misconception.
Keep repeating why you decided to get a divorce. Sometimes hearing the real reason for the divorce/separation can help. Kids sometimes will seem like they will get it one day and then totally be confused the next day. Treat your children’s confusion and misunderstandings with as much patience as possible.
Keep reminding your children that both of their parents will continue to love them and that they are not the reason for the divorce/separation.
Children have an awesome ability to heal when they are given the proper support that they need to get through their stressful situations.
Let your children know that even though it seems rough, both parents will continue to have a happy, healthy, and loving relationship with them.
Always be honest with your kids. Let them know that things won’t always be easy, but they will all work out in the end. When a child knows that it will all be alright, it can provide an incentive for them to give a new situation a chance.
Be sure to stay close to your children physically and mentally. Always give them hugs, a pat on the shoulder, or even a kiss on the forehead or cheek.
When your child’s anxiety starts to rise, remember to always keep things as simple and truthful as possible.
Your divorce or separation may cause some serious problems for your children. Here are a few symptoms of anxiety and depression in children that have been affected by a divorce/separation:
- Trouble at school
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Poor concentration
- Violent outbursts
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Refusal to participate in activities they used to enjoy
Divorce/separation can be one of the worst things that can happen in your family. The stress that comes with such an event can be almost unbearable. When a child is included in the process, it is very important to know how to keep a strong mental state so that you can figure out the best way to get through the situation.
Here at the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay, we understand how important your loved ones and children are to you, and we keep that in mind while we help you with your Delaware Family Law needs. We understand the importance and seriousness of the events that you are going through, and we want to help you get through these events as smoothly and easily as possible.
If you need help with a divorce or separation, whether you need child custody help or even if children are not involved, please contact Tom Gay at the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay. Mr. Gay will be more than happy to help you.