By Janet Howard
Separation or divorce of parents shreds a child’s emotional health into pieces. Their world tumbles down, and psyche evils such as trauma and depression latch on to them when the dissolution is not done correctly. Your reassurances, love, and patience are the most potent remedies to salvage your child’s emotional well-being. While it is almost impossible to make the hurt go away, there are some steps that you can take to help your child cope better.
Here are a few suggestions to help your child navigate through the anguish and stress when you and your partner are undergoing a divorce.
There is a better way to inform your child of the divorce.
Many parents hesitate when it comes to telling their child about an imminent divorce. You might often end up making excuses or sugarcoating the scenario. By doing this, you are creating a roadblock for your children to express their true emotions. An excellent way to inform your child about the dissolution would be to sort your personal anxieties before beginning the conversation. Once the situation is clear in your head and you can discuss it calmly, make the dialogue simple and easy to understand, so that there is no miscommunication or confusion for your child.
Let them know that your love for them hasn’t changed.
In turbulent times such as a divorce, children often end blaming themselves for things like their parent’s separation. Your reassurance and support are little nudges that keep the child afloat and helps them understand that it was not them who failed the relationship. Make them understand that even after the process, your love for them will remain unchanged and intact. There is power in words, and this is the best time to tap into that power.
Most children find it difficult to convert complex emotions into words, which often create a wedge between you and them. Acknowledging your child’s sadness and frustration is a good way to conveying that you understand them, and that they are not alone in this situation. Communication is the best form of support for your child during a divorce.
Maintain a routine
A good way of making your child understand that your relationship with them will never change even after the divorce is to follow a routine. While words do have power, actions make quite a difference. The child feels more blanketed and confident and can cope better when there is consistency in your behavior and daily routine.
Keep the fighting contained in front of your child.
A divorce is a nerve-wracking moment in a parent’s life. Naturally, in the process, you will often be pushed to your limits in terms of finances, custody, and other issues. It’s understandable that it’s challenging to keep the stress and the disagreements to a minimum when you are under so much pressure. Several studies support the theory that children who experienced multiple conflicts between their parents during the divorce are the most vulnerable and emotionally unstable. You don’t have to be the same with your partner or act like everything is normal between the two of you in front of your child. All you need to ensure is that you absolutely do not fight when your kid is around.
Children are fragile, but when you make them understand that the divorce will not change your love and the connection you share with them, they will cope better. In the end, you are only human, and your child understands that sometimes even their tough mum and dad can be vulnerable. Hence, instead of avoiding the elephant in the room, hold your child’s hand and confront it with all you have got.