Separation is one of the most difficult processes people can go through, but the situation is even more shocking for kids who need to adapt to such a huge change in life. Unfortunately, divorces take place way too frequently these days.
What can a divorce do your child? There are many different effects, but the most frequent problems include the following:
- Emotional issues such as anger, anxiety, confusion, or frustration
- Feeling guilty increases stress levels
- Lack of interest in social activities
- A sudden drop in academic performance
- Destructive behavior
- Sleep disorders and other health problems
According to the report, nearly 50% of married couples in the United States divorce. It’s a staggering figure that proves how important it is to understand the separation process and help children go through it without major psychological issues.
In this article, we will show you seven tips on how to protect a child’s mental and emotional health during a divorce. Let’s take a look!
- Be Honest with Your Child
The first and by far the most important tip is to be honest and talk to your child directly. Too many parents underestimate their children, but the fact is they can quickly recognize when you are lying. This is why you need to be clear about the divorce and discuss the issue without barriers.
Of course, you don’t want to reveal everything – it is enough to say that you and your spouse decided to go separate ways and now need to rearrange everyday habits. The best solution is to go through this conversation with your former partner to make sure that the two of you will deliver the same positive message to the child.
- Explain That It’s Not a Kid’s Fault
Kids who have to go through their parents’ divorce are prone to projecting negative attitudes and behavior to themselves. You have to prevent it simply by explaining to the child that it’s not his or her fault.
Jake Gardner, an essay service author who wrote the Edubirdie review, says the main idea is to eliminate children’s fears and hopes at the same time: “You don’t want to leave a child feeling guilty for your separation, but you also don’t want to beat around the bush. Instead, make it straightforward and convince the kid that the separation is a done deal.”
- Explain the Practicalities of the Divorce
Every divorce comes with a broad scope of practical questions and decisions. After all, the entire family needs to change the everyday routine. It means that you have to explain to the child the practicalities of the separation such as:
- Who and where is going to move?
- Does the kid have to change school?
- Are you going to spend your holidays together?
- Can you still go to that well-planned vacation?
There are so many practical issues to discuss here, so make sure to give your kid the right answers.
- Make a Schedule to Ensure Consistency
Although your kid is going to feel angry or devastated at first, you will be surprised to learn how quickly children adapt to the new situation. The only thing that matters is to give them a push and create a consistent schedule.
What does it mean? Well, it means finding a new rhythm and sticking to it long-term. This covers all of the daily activities like going to school, training, maintaining social relationships, and similar.
- Try to Keep Things Rational As Much As Possible
A divorce is always an emotional process, there’s no doubt about it. However, parents have to do all they can in order to keep things as rational as possible. You don’t want to add more weight to your kid’s back, so try to keep it calm all the way to the completion of the process.
One thing you can do is to describe why divorces happen in the first place. Another useful suggestion is to point out similar examples in other children’s lives. The bottom line is to let the child understand that divorces hurt, but that the pain is easier to deal with if you all embrace the new mindset quickly.
- Keep an Eye on Your Child
No matter how gently and delicately you might present the problem to your children, you still have to monitor their activities and pay attention to negative changes in their behavior. Even the smallest detail can tell you that something is wrong – bad marks in school, aggressive behavior, mood swings, and so on. If you notice anything that resembles unusual behavior, make sure to talk with your child and discuss all issues directly.
- No Arguments In Front of the Kid
The last tip on our list goes without saying, but we have to emphasize it because it’s way too important. Namely, you and your ex partner have to avoid any arguments, quarrels, or cynical comments against each other in front of the kid.
First of all, it doesn’t lead to any healthy conclusion or ending. And secondly, you will only hurt your child even stronger. Therefore, try to discuss all things calmly and forget about marriage-related arguments in front of the child.
Going through a separation is a shocking experience that can have a major impact on the wellbeing of both the parents and their children. In such circumstances, the only thing that matters is to help your kids face the situation as painlessly as possible.
In this post, we discussed seven tips on how to protect a child’s mental and emotional health during a divorce. Which tip do you consider to be the most practical here? Make sure to leave a comment – our readers would love to hear about your first-hand experiences!