How to minimize the emotional effects of divorce on children?
When getting married to the person you love, divorce is the last thing on your mind. However, divorce is a sad reality many couples face at some point in their marriage, especially now that couples are spending time in isolation due to the global health crisis.
Seeing their family falling apart is hurtful not only to parents but children as well, which is why parents should strive to minimize the emotional effects of separation when divorce is inevitable.
Avoid having arguments in front of the kids
Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s practically impossible for couples not to run into a problem from time to time. The important thing is how parents handle their arguments and disagreements. Arguing in front of the children is only going to make your home feel like a battlefield instead of it being a safe and happy place. What’s more, all the fighting, screaming, and especially violence is going to have a detrimental effect on children’s psyche as they’re still developing and are still quite sensitive. This will also set a bad example for them when it comes to handling conflicts as they’re still learning how to form relationships.
Instead, parents should try to work together on solving their problems and handle their marital issues when children are away. Talking to a divorce counselor can be an effective way to tackle any problems and communicate in a way that won’t be harmful to children.
Help your children understand your decision to separate
Once you’re absolutely sure you want to end your marriage, the next step would be to find a way to communicate this decision to your children. While older kids may have picked up on what’s been going on, younger children may have a hard time understanding the upcoming change.
Keep in mind your child’s maturity and age when talking about divorce while also paying attention to their temperament and their potential reaction. Talk about how their lives are going to change and do so in a calm way, leaving negative emotions out of it. Most importantly, make it clear that it is not their fault and that sometimes adults simply disagree and that living apart is sometimes what’s best for the whole family.
Seek legal help to ease the emotional process of divorce
Starting the divorce process may feel like you’re entering a battlefield, and the whole situation is incredibly complex to navigate, especially for children. However, sometimes, divorce may seem like the only reasonable solution to the problem. More couples are realizing that, and countries like Australia are seeing a spike in numbers of couples seeking counseling or divorce. The living arrangements due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have only exacerbated the problem, with 42% of Australians reporting that the lockdown has put a strain on their relationship.
In those times when it feels like divorce is the only option, the best place for parents to start the divorce process is to seek family law services provided by a reputable Family Lawyer in Brisbane and rely on their expertise and knowledge in the field. An experienced legal professional will be able to take care of all the legal aspects of divorce and help you and your family overcome this major life change more easily.
Provide full emotional support to your children
It’s natural for children to be upset about their parents’ decision to split, and it is during this period that they need their parents’ reassurance the most. Some children will show their emotions, others will keep things bottled up and may not react to the news right away.
Make it clear that you are always there for them and try to understand their emotions as well as concerns when they do open up about it, providing full emotional support at all times. This will enable parents to build empathy with children, but they should continue to keep a watchful eye to be able to identify any signs of potential problems and deal with them effectively.
Answer their questions and help them adjust
Regardless of your child’s initial reaction to your decision to get divorced, you want to let them know how their lives and daily routines are going to change after divorce. Your children will probably have a lot of questions about school, friends, and their new living arrangements.
Your job as a parent is to plan ahead and prepare for all those questions and be honest when answering them. Finally, help them adjust to the new situation by retaining a sense of familiarity. This means maintaining their daily routines, staying consistent with schedules, and ensuring they’re spending enough one-on-one time with both parents.
As painful as it can be, going separate ways is sometimes the only option. While there is no easy way to do it, parents should make an effort to minimize the inevitable pain of divorce and make things easier for their children as this is the only way for families to overcome this major change and ensure a brighter future.