Besides the financial costs, divorce can impact pretty much every sphere of life – emotional, physical, social, spiritual and relational. Divorce can impact the children’s wellbeing too. Besides attending to your feelings and maintaining your composure, it is important that you also help your children overcome the pain that comes with seeing their parents go their separate ways.
Frustrations can get out of control if your soon-to-be-ex is uncooperative or unreliable. However, while you cannot make your children’s disappointments go away, there are a couple of steps you can take to help them cope with divorce.
Here are some of them:
Reassure your children of your unconditional love for them
When a parent fails to come through, it is easy for the children to somehow take the blame. They could begin to think that, perhaps, the parent is staying away because they are not well-behaved or fun to be around. As a result, their self-esteem will be affected.
Continually assuring the kids of your love and letting them know that the other parent’s inability to be in their lives has nothing to do with their “lovability” can go a long way in helping them understand that nothing is really wrong with them.
Avoid sugarcoating the situation
Making excuses for the other parent robs your children of the chance to express themselves. If the other parent cancels visitation, citing a bad cold but turns around and goes to work with it, allow the child to freely voice their feelings. It is okay to let the child vent about their frustrations.
Encourage your children to communicate
You can encourage the kids to talk to the other parent about their continued absence in their lives. By openly expressing themselves, your kids will have a sense of empowerment, which can help mitigate their anger and frustration. Even if nothing changes, your kids will feel relieved knowing that they made an effort to improve their relationship with the other parent.
When a couple decides to divorce, one of their toughest assignments is usually to ensure that the kids’ interests are not tampered with. Kids react to divorce in different ways. They might feel angry, withdrawn or frustrated. However, you can take proactive steps to help your children cope with the effects of your divorce.