Having their marriage end is hard for the couple, but it is even harder when there are children involved. Children of divorce are scared and angry, and many times feel that it is their fault that their parents are getting divorced. So what can you as parents do, to help your children cope with the fact that your marriage has come to an end?
Listen to your children, and reassure them
The one important thing that children of divorce need is someone to listen to them, and gives them the reassurance they are looking for. Who better to do this, than the parents themselves?
Give your child your undivided attention, and really listen to what they have to say. Children get scared and angry, so let them show emotions without interrupting them or becoming defensive. Reassure your child, alleviate their fears, straighten out any misunderstandings, but above all, give them your unconditional love. It is imperative that children of divorce understand that they are not to blame for their parent’s marriage coming to an end.
Help them to express themselves
Having their parents decide to end the marriage is devastating for children of divorce. For them, losing the safe and loving life they have known up to now is the same as losing a loved one. Help your child to grieve about this lost life, and help them to adjust to this new life by supporting their feelings.
You will inspire trust in your child if you show them that you understand and acknowledge their feelings even if you can’t fix the problem immediately, or make their unhappiness go away.
Reassure your child that your divorce is not their fault!
The majority of children of divorce have the idea that they are to blame for their parent’s marriage falling apart. They imagine that it is because of poor grades at school, arguments that they had with you, or times when they got into trouble, which is the cause of you and your spouse parting ways.
Children of divorce are confused, so be as patient as possible with them. Explain to them again why you and your spouse have decided to end the marriage, and emphasize that they are not to blame for the divorce.
Children of divorce need to know above all, that they will always be loved unconditionally by both their parents; that both parents will be there for them always, even though they won’t all be living under the same roof anymore.