How to help children learn to cope up with their parent's divorce
Divorce maybe an appropriate alternative for you but when it comes to kids it may not be an appropriate one. Kids find it difficult to cope when their parents seeking divorce. It can be very difficult on their part to think of living with any one of the parent when they are used to live together. Divorce is considered to be a right alternative for marriages which fail to survive. There are many marriages presently which fail to survive the strenuous situations and circumstances, and result in divorce which terminates the relationship legally and sets the spouses free from each other. But the ultimate victims of divorce are children who go through this difficult transition where they often wonder what's going to happen next. Divorce is a scary part of their life, where their whole life turns Topsy-curvy, at least for some time. Their perfect world is shattered into pieces and children are left with whole mix of confusion and insecurity. Such insecurities and confusions if not cleared and healed within the right time frame, may get worse with time and then it may be too late.
Children feel insecure when their parents seek divorce
Children get disturbed emotionally when they learn about their parent's divorce. There are lots of confusions and questions that children have in their mind in such situations. The insecurities that they feel during such situation may arise lot of questions in their mind including the following:
- Are things going to change everything in the house?
- Is my life going to change?
- Will my parents abandon me now?
- Will I ever get to see my parents together?
- Do I have to live somewhere else?
- Will my parents love me like before?
- Am I going to be alone?
- Will I have my friends with me even now?
- Do we have to move out from this house?
- Whom should I be with – father or mother?
Such questions make child's life chaotic leaving him with several fears which affect them physically and mentally. Parents have to take great care and great efforts for helping the child to deal with such situation. If such efforts are not taken by parents a child may get into depression or it may be lot more worse for them. Children have to deal with the situations like divorce in a healthy way and parents have to put efforts for such things to happen.
How to learn whether a child is been affected by the divorce situation
To help a child cope up with divorce, firstly a parent needs to learn whether a child is affected by the whole thing. Though that may be obvious in all the cases, yet different child has different way of getting affected. Not all children behave the same in such situation, as they too in their own way try to tackle such situation. Though it's quite difficult for them to handle and thus they show some change in their regular behaviors which if a parent successfully finds out then he/she may be able to tackle and help the child cope up with such situation. For this the parent needs to keep a close watch on children and their behavior. This can be done by spending a lot of time with children in such circumstances. Watch out for few of the following mentioned signs which may alert you about your child getting affected by the divorce situation. Watch out if:
- Your child withdraws himself from his regular activities.
- Your child refuses to visit any relative's house or his friend's house.
- Your child keeps up to himself
- Your child gets angry or violent in each and every situation
- Your child looks depressed all the time
- Your child refuses eating or starts eating more than his normal eating habits.
- Your child tries hard to talk to you about get united with your spouse.
- Your child gets negative about various perspective of life.
- Your child starts functioning poorly in his academic tests.
If you find any of these above mentioned signs in your child's behavior then you need to be alert about it. Some way or the other your child is getting affected with your divorce and he needs to get out of this situation in a healthy manner. Let's discuss few ways which may help children to learn to cope with their parent's divorce.
Learn what a child wants from his parents
What a child ever wants from his parents is a healthy family life full of love and devotion. Now that parents are about to get divorced, this idea of a picture perfect family is about to get shattered in your child's mind. This cannot be stopped anyhow, but a parent can definitely help the child handle this in a healthy manner. It should not affect the child mentally and the child should be taught to move on.
Inform your child about divorce
Many parents maintain secrecy about such situations in front of their children. The whole idea of secrecy is to keep their child out of this and to maintain a perfect picture in front of their children. But like it or not the fact is that anyhow the child is involved how hard you try to keep him away. Hence why not let the child know what is going on in the family. Inform him about the development and the reason behind it. Allow him to ask questions and help him out with answers. Give reasons which are justifiable for your decision.
Help the child to get rid of his fears and insecurities
This is more important. A child needs to let go his insecurities and fears related to his parent's divorce. Help the child to remove all the fear he has in his mind by talking to him about it. Clear all the confusions he has in his mind and allow him to clear his doubts. Encourage your child to express his feelings and speak out his mind. Listen to him patiently and explain to him in a easier manner so that he understands. Assure him that he will always have both the parents whenever he needs them and that his bonding with any of the parent is not going to change.
Top 10 tips to help children to learn to cope up with divorce
1. Don't ever encourage your child to develop a wrong image about the other parent.
2. Help child to look at the positive effects and brighter side of divorce. For example, no fights, no damage, happiness etc.
3. Speak with your ex-spouse about how to interact with your child about the whole situation.
4. Encourage your child to maintain good relationship with both the parents.
5. Try and take a holiday where the child is kept away for few days in peaceful surroundings. This can be a stress buster.
6. Give the child sufficient time to deal with his parents divorce.
7. Learn co-parenting with your ex-spouse which may come handy after divorce.
8. Help child to deal with this situation and make sure that you are always there for him.
9. Encourage your child to make friends outside and help him cope up with your divorce.
10. A Counselor's help for your child may come handy in such situations.
Every child wishes to stay with their parents. But if the situation is so unfortunate to deal with, all a parent can do is to provide the love, care and support for their kids.