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Divorce on Children

Divorce on Children

Involuntarily faced with the separation of parents, children of different ages react in different ways; and very often they feel sad, shocked, confused, uncertain, or angry; some may even go under extreme stress and anxiety.

Read on to find out how divorce would impact children of different ages, and what to expect of normal child behaviours.

Help Children Cope with Divorce

Separation is hard and can be traumatizing and painful for children.  Children may feel their worlds are falling apart and everything seems to disconnect and lose its importance.  Some children may go under intense stress, depression, anxiety or may even become very aggressive.

It is the parent’s responsibility to give time and importance to each child; and keep them away from the negative impact of divorce or separation.

What can you do to support your children during this difficult time?

Here are some pointers suggested by experts:

  • Show them love and respect
  • Spend time with them
  • Talk to them clearly about the divorce and its implications
  • Listen carefully to what they feel and think about separation (you don’t have to have all the answers, sometimes just listening is enough)
  • Let them be honest; acknowledge and respect their feelings
  • Answer their questions honestly and fully
  • Clear and correct their false ideas / understanding about why this event has happened
  • Create and maintain routines so that they know what to expect (provide stability)
  • Make rules and establish order and structure in their daily lives
  • Be consistent in communication and reinforcement
  • Closely monitor their activities
  • Deliver discipline that is neither overly permissive nor overly strict
  • Maintain a working relationship with your ex-spouse AND make it a priority
  • Avoid playing the blame game when talking about the divorce
  • Be respectful and less critical of your ex-spouse
  • Hire a counsellor or child therapist who can talk to them with trust and empathetic approach

Do know that how your child will turn out has the most to do with the relationship that he or she develops and maintains with each parent.

As a parent, you can help your children cope with the impact of separation and help them through the phase of adjustment.

YOU CAN.  Here’s how.

Remember and remind yourself of this:

Q:  What’s best for your children in the long run?
A:  Having a good and solid relationship with both parents throughout their lives is best for your children in the long run.

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