Sometimes parents can’t prevent it: separation or divorce. This life event is decisive for the whole family. All are affected by the separation and face the painful change. A separation or divorce is an attempt by the parents to find a solution to the existing issues and parental conflict within the couple relationship. From their side, children want their parents to be happy and subconsciously realize that separation is what can make them enjoy their lives, but on the other hand, they are not willing to experience these sudden and upsetting changes.
Parental conflict and repercussions:
Divorce means a serious break in children’s lives and as a responsible parent, you have to facilitate this process as much as possible. It is also essential not to treat the other parent as an enemy and tune children against him or her. Another parent must also be involved in the child’s upbringing and development.
It is even better to get a divorce online as children will not the witnesses of you constantly disappearing to the court or lawyer. Getting an online divorce help is a win-win decision. Getting cheap divorce Illinois papers online is ‘easy as pie’ today due to profitable, money-saving offers and a clear divorce package.
How can parents support their children in the separation phase? What do children need when parents separate or divorce? Should parents stay together better because of the children? What is the best way for parents to tell their children that they are separating? These are the issues we will discuss in this article.
Do not let your child feel guilty:
Children need to understand that it is not their fault that parents do not love each other anymore and want to have separate lives. Children, especially the little ones, explain the world with their own perceptions and often attribute to themselves. For example: “Mom cried today and Dad was shouting at her because I have not cleaned up the room again. Mom was angry with Dad because she had to cook dinner for him. If I had not been hungry, Mom would not have had to cook dinner for Dad again and get irritated.”
Explain to your children that separation or divorce has nothing to do with them, children need to understand that they cannot do anything to prevent or support the separation – they only separate as a couple, but not as parents. It must remain a problem for adults uniquely and children must not be dragged into this mess.
It is necessary to conduct a conversation on this topic. Many children have a feeling of great relief after this conversation. It is your job as parents to recognize and react appropriately to feelings such as fear, loss, sadness, anger, disappointment, feelings of guilt or the feeling of not being loved enough. In any case, separate couples must remain reliable parents for their children so that they can continue to feel protected.
Let your children remain children:
Children need a living space that is appropriate for their age: there is a great risk that children of divorces will have to spend a large part of their time and energy focusing on their parents and their requirements. For example, it is very age-appropriate that young people prefer to spend their free time and weekends with their peers or on their own “chilling” or “hanging out”. Thus, the time they want to spend with the family is greatly reduced. If a parent insists that this is “his” or “their” time and that the child “must enjoy” the time according to the agreement (court order) with the other parent, the conflict is preprogrammed.
It is also helpful to help children understand that there are other caregivers aside from their parents that they can always resort to. When there is a conflict between parent’s children feel a break in their relationships with them. To prevent them from feeling lonely there has to be a neutral person that does not take the side of either of the parents and is there to listen. Regardless of whether a child wants to talk about it or not, just knowing that there are other caregivers who are simply there. What is more, neutral caregivers could do important ‘transitional’ work in conflicts between parents.
In addition, especially in these difficult times, children and adolescents need habitats that are not burdened by the history of separation. It’s understandable that they like to escape to other, unencumbered areas of life.
Children need explanations anyways:
It is immoral to leave children in ignorance about your divorce. Of course, it not right to involve them in your personal altercation. You are required to give children age-appropriate explanations so that they can develop a sufficient level of understanding.
In young children, the “magical thinking” is still alive, which can enormously intensify the guilt feelings already mentioned. An older child has better protection mechanisms if the parents separate, it can get help and encouragement from his friends, some of whom may have already suffered a similar fate and are thus getting on quite well.
In general, as parents, you should tell the child together that you are going to divorce and not talk around. You should prepare for this conversation together because the child will probably remember it for life. So it is very important what you say and you should take your time for it.
Authors bio: Greg Semmit has years of experience working with different types of legal documents and writing about Family Law for educational purposes. In his free time, he likes roaming the streets of New York with his Olympus taking photos of the best spots in the city.