Divorce is a big part of a child’s life and what will determine his ultimate future is in the hands of each parent. Children can mostly likely be negatively affected by their parent’s divorce. However, parents should understand that the children are doomed to be negatively impacted by their divorce.
Although I am not qualified to comment on this aspect, let us examine a few aspects that could arise from a divorce, and the options on how to handle it. The most important fact being that the children are not caught in the crossfire.
Try to accept the fact that things will fall apart after a divorce.
First, try to accept the above fact, as divorce marks the end of a relationship, despite how amicable the split may be. It does not matter how you feel, but it depends on how it will affect your child. It is no surprise that they will be sad and will go through their own grieving and insecurity processes. They will be worrying on whom and where to stay with, the transitions and their future.
The primary purpose is not to hide the fact or your feelings from your child. Try not to make the child your confidant and explain to them the entire process. This will invariably lead to them having a bias towards the other parent. Therefore, explain to them that you are going through a hard time and that it will soon get better.
Do not surrender consequences just out of guilt.
A lot many parents skip giving consequences after their divorce out of guilt. They feel that they have destroyed their child’s future. When the child realizes this, they could develop a rather unpleasant behavior.
It is obvious that the kids would overreact because of the anxiety and stress. Hence, it is better to be consistent and be sympathetic to the kids. Get their feedback on what they feel and their insecurities about the divorce and clear any doubts they have.
Do not let the child over react.
Kids react to divorce in many different ways. They could either become over achievers or under achievers. They could take an adults role, if they have a younger sibling, trying to fill in the missing role. Assure the kid that it is better they have fun and that although the parents might be going through a rough patch, they are there to take of them.
When your child reacts out after a divorce.
There are multiple reasons why kids act out after a divorce. Some of the most common ones are that the kids lose control, as they cannot come to terms with the new changes .They become angry, violent or sad and scared. Mostly they feel that the divorce was their fault. Some of them act out pushing their parents to be strong stemming out from the child’s anxiety. In addition, all of them hope that the parents get back together.
If these types of behavior are prevalent among the kids, then empathize with them and request them to be more co-operative and to understand the situation. Of course, there must be set limits and certain level of discipline to be maintained.
When you have difference of opinions in parenting with your ex-partner.
When you are alone with the kids, you alone are responsible for parenting. In other words, you are in charge, and you would have to set rules and expect the kids to follow them. You have to understand that there is no other person to tell you on how to parent. It would be helpful, if you call each other on parenting issues. Discuss parenting ideas, and finally enforce the best parenting values for your child. What really matters at the end of the day is the parenting.
Try not to ask your children take sides.
It is normal that children get caught in the middle in parental arguments. Parents must ensure that children should not be put in a position to take sides. By doing so, you send the message to the kids that despite their arguments or difference in opinion; they would be always available to the kids. The basic rule is to never say anything negative about your partner to the kids. It might be difficult, but this ensures that the kids have a healthy relationship with both the parents in the long run.
Try not to let your kids manipulate either of you.
Given the current situation, it is no surprise that some of the kids will try to manipulate the situation. It gives them a feeling of power and more often, it does work. Try not to let this happen and ensure that there is a discipline in the house, despite what they say about your ex. If they insist, you can tell them that these rules apply, when they are in your ex’s house and not yours. You can also call your ex and confirm this in their absence. Whatever said, don’t relay messages to your ex, through your kid. Moreover, discipline them if they are lying about your ex and the rules in his or her house.
This is a difficult thing to handle and at the end of the day be sympathetic to the kid’s behaviors. After all, they were not responsible for your current situation nor do they have any control over it. At the end of the day, you must remember that how your child turns out would depend a lot on your relationship with each other. Whether the divorce will have an emotional impact on them will depend solely on your relationship with your ex-partner.