A divorce does not affect a baby in the same way as it does a child or adolescent. In the case of young babies, they probably detect the subtle changes in the situation but do not suffer from it as much because of the symbiotic mother-baby relationship. That is, since the baby is still very focused on his mother, he may not miss his father so much. However, if the mother is sad and distressed, precisely because of this symbiosis, the baby will show the same moods.
Perhaps the worst age to face separation from parents is between five and 11 or 12 years old. During these years, children are very dependent on their parents and any change in family dynamics will be destabilizing for their life. On the other hand, during adolescence, the central focus of the child’s life shifts to the circle of friends, thus making it easier for the young person to cope with the grief. However, in all cases, it is still a challenge.
For children (and sometimes even adolescents), separation from parents is a tremendous shock that triggers uncontrolled emotions and anguish in them. Many children come to think that they themselves are to blame for the divorce. It is not strange to hear a little one ask if Mom and Dad have split up because of them being “bad.” Beyond that, some children suffer firsthand the changes of divorce like they would with a move, a change of school, or the loss of friends. Want to know how to help your kids get through divorce as a whole? Continue reading.
Maintain Open and Honest Communication With Your Children
Wondering how to help your kids get through divorce? First and foremost, it is up to you that the foundations on which the children’s security and emotional stability are based do not collapse and that they can accept the situation without trauma as a new way of family coexistence. However, it is your responsibility to discuss the divorce with kids. Don’t wait for them to ask the question. Have a serious, but simple conversation with them. You don’t have to give them too much information. Kids are smart. They know what is going on. Give them credit for that. Therefore, when you do discuss the details with them, they will understand.
First, tell your children that you love them. You must make them understand that the breakup has nothing to do with them. It is important for them to know that whatever happens, Mom and Dad love them more than anything in the world and that that will never change. Then, talk to your children. You do not need to tell them absolutely everything, but try to be honest. If the separation is final, you should say so. Don’t let your children feed false hopes. This is one significant way of how to help your kids through divorce.
Also, never speak ill of your ex-partner! Your ex-partner is the father or mother of your children and that will not change. Don’t try to turn the little ones against their other parent. It will hurt them deeply. To help, maintain a cordial relationship with your former partner. It is essential for your children to see that you can get along with your former partner. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for them. This is one of the ways of how to help your kids get through divorce.
Additionally, don’t use your child as a messenger. If you need to talk to your ex, give him a call. Don’t use your child as a carrier. Another tip to consider is to avoid giving too many gifts, as your children’s love cannot be bought. The best thing you can dedicate to them is your time. Remember that you are not competing with your ex to see who they want more.
Maintaining open and honest communication also includes organizing family reunions. It is important that your children can spend family time with the two of you together. It is not necessary for you to converse among yourselves, so make everything revolve around your children. Ideally, you and your ex-partner should inform the child or children together and also in a simple way that mom and dad have decided to stop living together. You should also tell them that this will involve organizational changes but that, in no case, will it alter the relationship you have with them.
In addition, of course, you should put aside the drama. About 10 days before the separation becomes effective and seems a reasonable date to have a discussion as a family. It will give the child time to assimilate the news without provoking in him the false idea that finally the break is not going to occur. And as the child gets used to the idea, he or she will have many doubts – who will I live with, when will I see my mom or dad, what will happen with my friends, what school am I going to go to now? These are some of the questions that you will have to carefully answer. This is one way of how to help your kids get through divorce.
Keep Legal Talk Out of the House
Wondering how to help your kids through divorce? During the process of going through the divorce, do not hold back the most important details from the children, especially if it affects the noncustodial parent. Let the kids know that the divorce is going to impact the entire family, but you will try to deal with it sensibly and adult-like. Speak to them about some of the legalities that they can understand. You would be surprised how much children can understand if you explain it to them in layman’s terms. Make sure the divorce attorney is consistently feeding you with information related to your case and pass them on to your children. Don’t leave them out.
Discuss Schooling Options With the Kids’ Best Interest at Heart
Create a joint educational project with your ex-partner. You are separated, but you are still family. You always will be. Your children need you both. Make a common front and do not undermine each other. The kids need to see that you are both working together for their best interest. Therefore, both of you should discuss schooling options for the kids. If you can afford it, there are benefits of private school education. However, there is nothing wrong with choosing public school education.
It is all a matter of discussing the finances available between you two and making choices that will benefit the kids. If it means enrolling a child into speech therapy and there is no way around it, you can seek financial help from family members or keep it in the family and try to deal with it together. Even though a divorce may have occurred, your children need you to stay calm and help steer their lives in the right direction. This is an important way of how to help your kids get through divorce.
Beware of Parental Alienation
Parental alienation is a bad situation associated with divorce, and avoiding it is in your power. During the separation, many feelings of anger and aggressiveness are generated towards the ex-partner, and that anger is transformed into the need to hurt the other. The problem arises when that damage is done using the children. Thus, one of the parents begins a campaign of discredit against the other, making continuous denigrating and negative comments about him/her, and what is worse, interfering in the contacts with the child.
In such a way, the child will have hatred towards the other parent, giving rise to what is known as parental alienation syndrome. The end result of this disorder is that the son or daughter ends up feeling uncomfortable when he has to go to the house of the rejected father or mother. The child will make excuses for not going and communication decreases. Furthermore, once “contaminated,” the child begins to insult and reject the father or mother. The parent who has caused the situation is in denial, saying that it is the little one who thinks and feels this way. Definitive rejection of the parent and, by extension, the rest of the family is the next and inevitable step. If you’re wondering how to help your kids get through divorce peacefully, avoid parental alienation.
Communicate With Your Ex About Financial Decisions Privately
Curious about how to help your kids get through divorce financially? Well, it is important to communicate about different financial decisions that have to be made and that includes both parents. However, don’t make those decisions by yourself, especially when they involve the children. Be sure to discuss those decisions privately and away from the children. Financial topics can get heated, and you don’t want your kids to hear you fussing with your ex about money.
For example, if your ex promised to help fix the air conditioning unit and has not done so and you have to call a residential air conditioning service, work out with your ex for him or her to pay half. That is quite reasonable and shouldn’t be a problem. However, there are some partners who find it hard to talk about money. If the family was living in an apartment before the breakup and you feel like your kids need to live in a bigger space, which is something that you may have already been planning with your ex, there is no reason for this not to still happen. However, you have to communicate, and even if it is too early to make a decision to get a privately funded mortgage to facilitate the purchase of a new home, then you may have to wait and be patient.
Celebrate Milestones and Holidays With Your Children
Wondering how to help your kids get through divorce during the holidays and other special occasions? Let the kids still know how special they are and how much you value them on their birthdays as well as on family holidays. Just because you are separated from your ex does not mean that you cannot celebrate various milestones with your kids. You should still celebrate with the kids even if you are going through a divorce. However, if one parent is unable to make one of the children’s birthdays, it should be explained in detail to the child. If not, the child will feel abandoned. For the children’s sake, try to celebrate birthdays as a family and then split up holidays if necessary.
Let Your Kids Make Decisions About Their Personal Lives
Children have their own personal lives and may not be too happy with the changes that they are about to experience. This involves explaining to friends why their parents are no longer together. Many children will see this as an embarrassment, and it may solicit anger in them. However, give the child time to handle this on their own because this is also their personal life and there are certain things that you cannot do for them as a parent.
There are other decisions that your kids have to make on their own, such as changing their religion. If you go to a Catholic church at the moment and your child feels like they want to change their religious affiliation, allow the kids to make those decisions. This is one of the ways of how to help your kids through divorce. There are some things that you should stay out of or allow your children to choose for themselves.
Consider the Best Healthcare Option
When going through the divorce process, you also have to make healthcare decisions, such as changing the family dentist or orthodontic specialist based on financial and insurance changes. This is especially true if you have to relocate to another city or state. However, you have to make the best healthcare options.
When it comes to how to help your kids get through divorce, their well-being and best interests must be taken care of first and foremost. Do your research first and let your children be involved in the different choices that you have to make. Your ex should be involved as well, although some parents prefer to allow the custodial parents to make those decisions. In making these considerations, take your time and learn if this one of the ways of how to help your kids through divorce properly.
Let Your Kids Help You Pick Out New Items Post-Divorce
Wondering how to help your kids get through divorce? Well, after the divorce, there are certain things you should allow your kids to be involved with. This is a way to make them feel important. If you are buying one of the used cars at your local car dealership, for example, you could have your kids go along with you and help them pick out the one that they like. By including them, you will make your kids feel important while their life is changing.
Divorce is difficult for parents and even more difficult for children. One of the main ways of how to help your kids through divorce hinges on inclusion. Be there for your little ones throughout the process and try to make it as civil as possible so that your children are not severely affected. It’s difficult, but it is not impossible! The marriage may be over, but the love of the family must be stronger than everything else; do not forget that!