Helping kids cope with divorce

The separation of parents bears upon the child in every worst way possible. Anger, anxiety, frustration and unhappy feelings are very common during this stage. It’s the way kids express their feelings for their mom and dad. Bed wetting, thumb sucking, arguing without reasons, throwing temper tantrums, cursing, drug use, swearing, running away and other forms of regressed behavior might ruin the life of the child if proper care, love, affection and attention is not given by both the parents. The child might also start protecting one parent while hating the other. Dealing with divorce requires co-operation from both the parent who should maintain a good civil relationship to help the kid get over the divorce.

Talking about divorce to the child is a very painful thing for both parents. Do not take this topic unless you are sure about the decisions and future plans. Then, explain to the child what is going to happen. The kid will feel better when both parents are in the scene. Don’t let out any emotions of anger, blame, or guilt in front of the child. Make it clear to the child that whatever happened between his mom and dad is not because of him. Both parents should often do this because the child might still feel that his bad behavior is the reason. Give him the support that it is not his fault. Don’t make the mistake of not ignoring questions that the child asks, no matter how painful it is, because the child shouldn’t feel that he is being ignored and is being given less or no importance at all. Answer the questions truthfully and keep it simple. Make him understand the whole situation and make him prepared for the changes he is ought to undergo.

Some important topics on which the child tends to as questions are;

  • About his school and his friends; should he change to a different school? Will he be able to see his friends?
  • About his parents and home; where will his mom and dad live and where he should live? With whom should he live?
  • About is activities and fun; is it possible for him to do his favorite activities? Is he allowed to go for summer camps? Is he allowed to hang around and have fun with his friends during the weekends?

It is advisable to answer these questions before they arise so that the child feels better and secure. If you think some of the answers are unfavorable to him, make sure you tell it the right way and always be honest with the child.

  • You should also do the following things to help the child;
  • Do not fight in front of the child
  • Do not criticize, badmouth or blame each other
  • Court matters and other details of divorce should not be shared with the child
  • Do not communicate to the other parent using the child; do not use the child as spies
  • Keep the child happy by having lots of fun.