Divorce is unpleasant and can really take out a lot from one. The casualties of every divorce are the children in real sense. The innocent kids also have to endure the pain of a divorce. 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. What then can a parent do to help their child deal with divorce if the decision to have is final?
It is vital for a parent to pay a lot of attention and 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. Listening to your child will alert you on the stages of grief that they are in and you can work it 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. Answer the questions smartly and help your child understand what is happening.
You should know that kids are different and they react very differently. It goes without saying that the kids will react but it is important to help them through it all. Tell them that you care about how they feel and it is okay that 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. This is an attempt to please you as the parent or as they avoid to feel the difficult feelings of sadness and hurt. Don’t try hurry them at all but be patient and allow them to come when they are ready.
It will come a time when they need to cope with their reality and it will not be easy. Don’t take away their right to hope that things will be back to normal and mom and dad will be back together. They miss the kind of family they were used to and hoped for. Don’t make any promises to make them feel better but let them know that it is perfectly okay for them to hope. It is important that you tell the truth of the matter but help them cope with it.