Divorces are definitely not pleasant and can drain one in more ways than one. The casualties of every divorce are the children in real sense. It is not only the couple that has to endure the divorce but the kids as well. The impact of divorce on kids can at times be felt a long time afterwards. Children go through all the stages of grief and if this goes unchecked, the child can get stuck on one of the emotions ad this can have adverse effects on their studies, and general life even way into adulthood. So, the decision to get a divorce has become irreversible and it has to go through given the circumstances, how can couples help their children deal with divorce?
The first thing you must do is to listen. Letting your child know that they are being heard all through makes them feel significant despite the divorce. Ensure you have maintained a healthy relationship with your kids and they will keep you posted on their feelings along the way which you can work out together.
Then you shall need to break the news to the child in person. Having both parents present this is very important. Having a discussion with your spouse beforehand about how the news will be broken to your child will help you keep off feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, and blame during the discussion. Look into what is co-parenting to see what it is all about and also study the child support guidelines. Respond to their questions as this will help your child understand more about what is to happen.
The kids will definitely react and in different times and ways. Knowing this, you should be ready to help them through it and understand how they react. You should let them know that it is okay for them to be upset and let them know that you care about how they feel. You will find that not all kids react immediately and they might act like everything is okay. These kids either want to please you as the parent or they just are not ready to deal with all these difficult feelings. Don’t try hurry them at all but be patient and allow them to come when they are ready.
After the initial reaction, you should help them cope with reality. It is normal for them to hope that things would go differently and their parents would be back together in no time. They miss the kind of family they were used to and hoped for. It is important to let them know that it is okay for them to hope but don’t give them false promises. Encourage them and let them know what your plans are so that they won’t have false hope.