When you’re in the middle of a divorce, it might be hard to also tend to the emotional needs of your children. They are certainly going to feel the effects of the separation, especially if the divorce between you and your spouse is a tumultuous one.
There are some basic tips to keep in mind when relating to your children, and they are listed below. However, this article will also address the ways that you can seek outside assistance and it will provide some of those resources.
But first, you should remember the following:
1. Stay consistent with your children’s schedule as best you can. If you were driving them to school, do your best to keep it that way. The less interruptions children experience in their schedule the better.
2. Be affectionate. No matter what is going on, your children will always want to feel your affection.
3. Don’t let your children take care of you. No matter what you’re going through, your children are not there for your emotional support. In fact, it’s the other way around. Get the support your need from another source.
4. Help your children stay connected to friends and family. Even if you have to have a nanny or friend take your children to their grandparents’ home or to the families of relatives, do that. It’s important that your children maintain their connections.
5. Keep your children away from the fighting. It will be important that you keep your children away from any arguments that you and your spouse have. They will tend to think that the fighting is their fault and that can be emotionally and psychologically damaging.
6. Reassure your children that you love and accept them.Just like the affection that your children will always want to feel, the same is true with your love. And along these lines, children are going to need to know that you and your spouse accept them no matter what happens.
If you can keep this in mind and you can understand the meaning behind why these tips are important, then you’ll likely also understand that if you can’t provide support for your children during your divorce, then getting outside support for them will be just as important.
One way to support your children is to engage the help of a mental health professional by bringing your children to a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy is essentially the opportunity for a child to discuss his or her feelings with one person who is trained to listen and treat symptoms of grieving, loss, or sadness. Psychotherapy can help a child manage his or her reactions to the divorce, as well as moods, thoughts, and behaviors. A therapist might also be able to support a child by providing coping mechanisms when feelings of sadness, disappointment, betrayal, or loss arise.
There are also a number of websites that provide information for teens when their family is going through a divorce. For instance, a website title Families Change is an interactive game that children can play while also learning about the dynamics of changing families and divorce. The website was put together by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia and provides legal, emotional, cultural, and psychological information with regards to divorcing families.
The site also provides information for parents who are going through a divorce and who need some extra support in how to relate with one another, with their children, and with relatives. The site includes information on how spouses can continue to parent their children together despite the separation between them.
Lastly, another site titled Kid’s Health provides a wide range of information on divorce, geared specifically for children. It’s a site that uses language that children can read, relate to, and understand. Although it’s not interactive and full of images like Families Change, it does provide essential information for children to grieve, heal, and eventually find acceptance of their parents divorce.