Sometimes things don’t turn the way we want, and we have to take a different path in life. Children shouldn’t watch the parents fight. But also at the same time, they have difficulty accepting their reality.
You have to understand that they love both of their parents. They usually don’t make any differences between mom and dad. They love them equally, and that can be a very stressful situation.
They will most likely act out and they will not accept it at first. But your role as a parent is to be there for them and show them an understanding of their feelings.
As divorce is a stressful time for every party, children will have their way to cope up with things. Sometimes you will not understand why they are doing. Let them express their emotions in the best way possible.
Smaller they are, less they will understand what is going on with their parents. But as they get older, they will ask you for explanations why did you get divorced in the first place.
So I am giving you some of the tips, how to help the children to get through divorce in the best manner.
Listen to Them
Children are very fragile. They can be easily hurt and divorce is one of the things that will hurt them for sure.
When they will try to explain to you what is going on with their emotions, listen to them. Even tho it is stressful for you as well, show them that you are their anchor in life.
Don’t let them deal with everything on their own. Give them peace of paper and tell them to draw their emotions.
If children are big enough they will draw people. Those people will be emotions children are going through.
Don’t be upset if you see people crying on the drawings. It is normal, and they have to express their emotions somehow. It is good to let it out as they will feel better.
If they are small, you will see their mood in the colors they choose. Darker the colors, in more pain they are. Even grownups pick darker colors if they feel sad.
Let the children express themselves through dance or similar activities. If they want to try something new, now it’s a perfect time. You will bond more with your child. In such situations, it is much needed to stay together.
Involve both parties
You have to understand that children will need both parents. Don’t even try to push away father or a mother of the child.
They will have a very difficult time accepting that their parents are separated. It is a difficult situation, and you might not agree with these tips due to the situation.
But try to stay in good communication with your ex-spouse. That way you will show the child that you don’t hate your ex. And most important you will show that you are willing to cooperate with everyone.
The child will not feel like he is the reason for the divorce. The children often blame themselves for the divorce. Show them that is not the case, and you got divorced for different reasons.
It might be very strange at first, but try to have a walk with your ex-spouse and the child. That way the child won’t feel left behind. You will also show the child that you are both there for him and you love him, regardless of the divorce.
Don’t forget the grandparents, uncles, aunts and other relatives. They for sure love your child.
Let the child spend some time with them as well. But be careful that they don’t influence the relationship the child has with you or your ex-spouse.
Sometimes people don’t do that on purpose. Explain to everyone that they should keep the child out of their problems.
You brought the child to spend some quality time with their relatives. If they don’t listen and they talk badly behind your back, don’t let the child spend time there.
It is always better to be alone than in a bad company.
Never Fight in front of the Children
It is sometimes very hard to keep the children away from our fights. But, it is in the best interest of everyone that they don’t listen to how their parents are insulting each other.
Even if marriage is getting towards its end, try to stay calm and keep children away. They will remember your fights for a long time. They shouldn’t do.
Violence is always giving birth to violence. If they will see you fighting all the time, they will do the same when they grow up.
In everyone’s best interest is to make decent human beings out of them. It is always better to have a calm person, who is capable of solving their problems.
Even if one party is not willing to cooperate, do not get in fights in front of the children. Try to solve your problems with your ex-spouse.
Children don’t have to see and hear everything. As they will grow up, they will ask you for sure why did you get a divorce in the first place. But, during that time, try to keep them away from your issues.
Don’t even try to blame someone. Divorces happen for many reasons. Most of them because the trust does not exist anymore. Or love is gone. Whatever reason it might be, do not fight over it.
Try to solve it as a calm grown-up. You will give your child a good example. We all lose our temper sometimes. In that case, breathing exercises will help you out. They will give you some time to collect your thoughts, and sometimes it is enough to count till 10.
You will have a calm mind and your child will not live through the stress of seeing you fight.
Don’t Turn Children against Parents
Even tho you may feel like the whole world is crushing on your shoulders, you have to stay strong.
Sometimes the parents can be very selfish, and they put the children aside. Take for example that one mother is taking whole care of the child. The father of the child is not paying her the alimony. But, even in those situations, you mustn’t say bad things about the other parent. The children will see who is who as they will grow up.
They will appreciate your hard work and devotion. You have to stay strong for them and show them the best part of you. Everything will fall in its place with time.
That is a very delicate situation. Children will for sure ask you if their other parents don’t love them. In that case, you can tell them that they will have to ask them that question. But you are sure that they do.
Be there for a child and don’t say anything bad. Try to keep the child in positive spirits, so he will survive the bad times easier.
Some children are very delicate and they might say how they hate other parents. In that case, tell them that they shouldn’t hate anybody.
They can dislike actions they are taking but not the person. They should respect them regardless and when they are old enough they will decide what to do.
If the father or mother brakes a promise to the child, that will be a very difficult situation.
Children take their words as something that has to be done.
If they lose trust the bond will be difficult to build up again. Make sure that they have their rock, in this case, you. If anything goes wrong they have to know you will be there to pick them up.
Don’t let them deal with their problems. Be there to solve them together.
Keep Them Busy
For a small child, divorce can be a situation when he will feel abandoned. And you don’t want them to feel that way.
You want them to feel loved and appreciated, regardless of the situation you are in. Talk with the child to know what kind of activities they find interesting.
If it is music, then ask them if they want to play some instrument. If you can, sign them to some classes. It will keep their minds busy and they won’t think so much about what their parents are going through.
That is also a good chance to meet some new friends. And that is always good.
Being surrounded by people is always a good idea and it is interesting to learn something new. That will also give them a chance to express themselves in their unique way. And for you, that will mean that you will have a chance to meet new people and make friends.
You will also keep yourself busy, as you will help them out with their activities. In such situations, it is sometimes the best idea to keep yourself busy all the time.
That way you are not dwelling on the past. Thinking positively about the future will help your mind to rest from problems.
Talk to your children a lot about the future they would like to have. Play some pretending games “of the future”.
Let them explain what they will be and what they will do in life. Give them all your love and support. Games of pretending are very good for raising self-esteem.
They will be proud to present who they want to be. Tell them that they will have a chance to be anything they want. As well don’t avoid the topic of the marriage.
Explain to them that marriage can be good or bad. And that everything in life can end up bad. You gave it a chance and it did not work out. That does not mean that their marriage will fail.
They have to keep on believing that love can be forever. Explain to them that some problems are sometimes more then we can handle. That everything happens for a reason, and now it is time to love ourselves for a while.
Maybe it is time to change our ways. We will be better people because every experience in life makes us stronger. And we learned a lot.
We have to remain positive and think that positive things will happen in our lives.
Don’t Forget Yourself
With so many things going on in your life it will be easy to forget about yourself and your needs. And that is bad for you and the child.
If you are not capable of taking care of yourself, most likely you won’t be able to take care of the child as well.
You have to learn to juggle between the life of a single parent and your happiness. It will not always be easy. Truth be told, it will take a lot of time for everything to fall on its place. And it will take a lot of effort on every side to get things right.
But you should never forget that your child loves you. And he/she is hurt if you are hurting.
Try not to collapse in front of him. It is OK that he is seeing you sad. Even to cry, that will teach him to express his emotions.
But do not stay in bed for days with tissues and sad songs. Sometimes we can’t make things to work, no matter how much we try.
Go to the hairdresser, change your hairstyle. Go for a manicure, spoil yourself a little.
A child will be also very happy to see you smile full of confidence. That will give him the picture of you as his anchor. That he will be able to count on you in good and bad times. And that is a lesson he will cherish for life.
When he will be in trouble, he will always call you. And that is something that every parent wants. A trust of a child, that is a good indicator that we have succeeded as parents in every way possible.