Divorce can have a great impact on Children. That is one of the difficult parts of divorce .The children may feel like their entire world has been turned upside down all of a sudden.Children need to be emotionally equipped in order to deal with the intense feelings they undergo through these difficult times.
Here are three essential things to know about guiding the children through divorce.
- Helping children understand the ongoing scenario
- Helping children deal with the issues at Home & at School
- Guiding children to the new beginning
Helping children understand the ongoing scenario:
If the parents are going through divorce, the children have lots of questions within themselves no matter what age they are. Parents need to listen to them and understand why some of those questions are being asked. How parents respond to their children during these difficult times is going to lessen the fear of their children or going to worsen the situation.
Helping children deal with the issues at Home & at School:
Children are good observers. Even before the divorce-thoughts pop up, children have clue there are issues between your spouse and you.Kids will not verbalize their concerns but variety of feelings and emotions such as abandonment, anger, rejection, lack of love, anxiety, guilt, fear of the future, loneliness are experienced by them deep within themselves. These feelings and challenging emotions can manifest in different ways which may also lead children into abnormal behaviors such as having suicidal thoughts, lashing out with violent physical behavior, addicted to drugs, alcohol or sexual activities depending on the age and circumstances.
Though it is true that you have other divorce-related issues to deal with ,put the children at the top of the list.
Guiding children to the new beginning:
Reminding children that divorce is not their fault and reassuring them about their future can help them handle myriad of other issues that overwhelm them to some extent. When you are going through high-conflict divorce and when the other spouse committed an unforgivable offence, its easy for you to point the fingers at them. However remember that if you start venting out your emotions onto your children, they are not equipped to deal with what you are going through as an adult.
If your children do not want to speak about divorce, don’t force the issue. Provide the information as and whenever needed. If the children are ready and comfortable enough to seek answers they will generally ask questions.
Keep all your adult divorce conversations private as the children of all ages grasp and will take to heart each comments you make to each other.
If your children are five years old or younger, then they will have a sense of what is going on.So you have to talk to them using reassuring terms. The children of this age though understand that there is a change,they need to feel loved and secured.
If your children are six to eight years old, then they can grasp the situation and they may ask questions conveying their feelings and concerns. While responding to their questions,be honest, yet use concrete terms.
If your children are nine years old and above ,then this is the stage when puberty starts to kick in. For the children of this stage the relationship with friends and others outside the home become the priority and this has bigger influence in how they react to your divorce news. It is up to you to handle them with much more care.
If your children are 13 to 15 years then they will be emotionally wreck because of onset of puberty. They are more prone to wild and violent mood swings. It is upto you to be ready to handle them .
There is no timetable available for how long it will take for your child to orient themselves to new environment. Going from two-parent home to one-parent home can throw the children of all age for a loop. Regardless of age, children of all age need love and emotional support as much as ever. As parents, it is up to you to make sure that the love and emotional support your children need are provided to them consistently and positively during the process of divorce and post- divorce.