For most people, parents going through a divorce is one of the toughest things having to deal with. Whether the divorce took place years ago or is happening right now, many kids and teens tend to feel alone and unsure on how to cope with the divorce. Parents, on the other hand, are constantly looking for expert advice on how to deal with the divorce smoothly especially when kids are involved.
WHY DO PARENTS GO THROUGH A DIVORCE?
Divorce happens due to many circumstances when parents feel they can no longer live with each other. This may be caused by constant fights, falling out of love, falling in love with someone else, drug abuse, or even physical abuse. Sometimes kids tend to feel that they are the reason their parents are divorcing. This leads to more frustrations, anger, stress, and sadness. Talking to a friend or a trusted adult can help one cope.
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT DIVORCE.
- You have not failed as a parent.
Though your marriage might have ended, divorce should not determine your skills as a parent. It shouldn’t change how you view yourself as a parent. Your duties as a parent remain the same, and your kids will still look up to you as role models.
- Do not bad-mouth your ex.
Though your relationship with your partner may end dramatically, do not talk ill of them. Engaging in such behavior may lead to kids taking sides which is not part of a healthy divorce. Children are easily influenced by what goes on around their environment. Keep harsh words and sour thoughts solely between the adults.
- Be mindful of your kids’ needs.
Remember that although your relationship is over, your kids still need you to be there as a parent. Schedule the time to be with your kids and be available to listen out if they need anything. Attend their school meetings and other activities and be active in their other activities outside the school environment.
- Find a way to co-exist with your ex.
You must find peaceful ways to co-parent with your ex. No matter the cause of divorce, or the feelings you have towards your ex, you need to understand that your kids will still see you as their role model. Whatever you do in front of the kids will reflect in their lives.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO MAKE DIVORCE EASIER.
- Keep the conflict low.
Divorce brings out a lot of resentment and anger towards an ex, and one needs to be very careful when voicing out these emotions. However, this does not mean that you put the feelings aside and do not discuss issues. But it does mean that conflicts between your ex should not be discussed in front of the children.
- Find common grounds.
You may not feel like you can agree on anything with your ex anymore after a divorce and may have nothing in common anymore but you need to find a way to put aside your issues and take care of the kids without causing them emotional trauma. Work on the tension of having your ex around and check in on your thoughts.
- Show your kids that you are still there for them.
It’s so tough when kids witness the divorce of their parents and this may make them so sensitive. Your kids will need you to be very present in their lives to help them cope with the separation. Check in regularly to see if they are struggling and take time to listen and comfort them.
- Help your kids come to terms with reality.
Give your kids enough time to deal with the changes regarding the divorce. They need time to process their emotions for everything to go smoothly. Inform them of the divorce a few days or weeks before any changes start to take place in the home like moving out. This way, they’ll be able to accept and move on with the reality of the separation.
Parents should find a way to work out their separation to facilitate a smooth transition in their lives and kids’ lives. Give it time, let others support you along the way, and focus on the positives that come out of your new life.