Divorces are definitely not pleasant and can drain one in more ways than one. Children are the actual casualties of divorces. Children have to undergo the divorce as well and not just the concerned couple. The impact of divorce on kids can at times be felt a long time afterwards. The stages of grief are felt on the child as well and in some instances, the child can get stuck on one emotion all the way to adulthood if the divorce is not handled well. If the decision to have a divorce is final, what then can a parent do to help the child deal with divorce?
It is vital for a parent to pay a lot of attention and listen. Listen to your child to ensure that your child knows that their opinion matters and that they are not insignificant. 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.
The other thing that you need to do is break the news yourself to your child. Both parents need to be there for this. Discuss the discussion between the two of you before taking it to your child as this will ensure all feelings of hurt, anger, and blame are kept out of the discussion. Understand what co-parenting is and what it entails beforehand including the child support guidelines that are in place. Ensure you have responded to all their questions.
You should know that kids are different and they react very differently. 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. These kids either want to please you as the parent or they just are not ready to deal with all these difficult feelings. Give them time and let them know that when they are ready, you are there for them.
It will come a time when they need to cope with their reality and it will not be easy. They hope that their parents will be back together and everything will be back to normal. It is normal for them to miss their family and all their hopes and dreams as a family. It is important to let them know that it is okay for them to hope but don’t give them false promises. It is important that you tell the truth of the matter but help them cope with it.