Divorces are definitely not pleasant and can drain one in more ways than one. The casualties of every divorce are the children in real sense. 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. Children go through all the stages of grief and if this goes unchecked, the child can get stuck on one of the emotions ad this can have adverse effects on their studies, and general life even 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. Maintain a healthy relationship with your child as this will help them open up about the divorce along the way and you can work it all out together.
The other thing that you need to do is break the news yourself to your child. Having both parents present this is very important. Practice this discussion beforehand so that by the time you are doing this, you shall have worked out how to do so without bringing in feelings of anger, resentment, hurt and blame. Find out what is co-parenting and all that it entails not excluding the child support guidelines. Answer the questions smartly and help your child understand what is happening.
Kids will have to react but not all at the same time and you should acknowledge this. Knowing this, you should be ready to help them through it and understand how they react. They should know and feel that you care about their feelings and that they are valid and it is okay for them to be upset. Not all kids will react as soon as the divorce is finalized but they might hold to their feelings a little bit longer. 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. Give them time and let them know that when they are ready, you are there for them.
After the initial reaction, you should help them 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 will definitely miss their family as it was and want it back. It is important to let them know that it is okay for them to hope but don’t give them false promises. Be considerate of what they feel but tell them the truth so that they won’t have false hope.