Children are the most innocent victims in any divorce situation. They may react in variety of ways and oftentimes, the emotions being expressed are negative. Some negative emotions may be very overt such as the showing of tantrums, frequent crying and being anxious or mad at one parent without valid reasons. Other children may suppress their ill feelings which may show only in their health condition such that they lose appetite and eventually lose weight or they may not sleep well leading to reduced attention in class.
Parents are responsible for maintaining the sanity of their children in case of divorce. In child custody arrangements, they should always protect the welfare of the kids as much as possible to prevent them from developing hatred or resentment towards one or both parents. There are ways you can help your kids deal with the situation if only to lessen the stress created by this sad event in your life. Patience, honesty and open communication are crucial as you help each other move on with life despite the absence of one spouse.
- Maintain a civil relationship. Parents who divorce need to keep a civil relationship between each other for the sake of the children. This is the best thing to do to lessen the childís stress. Whatever conflicts you have, you just keep it between yourselves.
- Be honest about the divorce situation. Always make it a point to open to your child the real situation of your family. Once a decision to lead separate lives has been reached, both parents should inform the child or children about it without putting the blame on anybody. Be sure, though, to consider your childís age, maturity and temperament when talking about the divorce.
- Give them as much information as needed. After telling your child that you and your spouse will no longer live together in the house, gradually provide other important information as well. The kids need to know what is going to happen with their lives, which parent they will live with, where they will stay, if they will move to a new place and new school, if they will still see their other parent and the other changes that may have to take place notably concerning their school and extra-curricular activities. To help you organize child custody information including visitation schedule, thereís a child calendar and support software you can use.
- Reassure them of your love, understanding and support. Make sure to give reassurance to your kids that you understand their ill feelings and that their outburst of negative emotions is natural and okay. Tell them that no matter what happens, you and your ex-spouse will always love and support them.
- Help them express their negative feelings. Itís best to encourage your children to express their frustration, sadness or anger. Tell them to be open about what they feel concerning the divorce and that youíre ready to listen to what they have to say. When you do this, you allow your child to be honest with his feelings and to let them out to you instead of diverting it to other things and other people. This is then the time to ask them how you can help them cope.
- Take care of your health. Divorce is like a death in the family that causes so much stress especially to a wife. However, itís not okay to neglect yourself after this. Move on slowly and keep yourself healthy by eating well and getting as much sleep as you can.