Children experience an array of emotions when they find out their parents are getting a divorce. It is no different from what adults feel, yet they may not have all of the facts. This can result in children blaming themselves for the divorce. They will remember all of the times their parents had a conflict.
It is very important to talk openly with your children about your divorce. They need to know that they aren’t the cause of it. This will help them have a very strong sense of self worth. Many children from divorced families end up with low self esteem as they grow up as a result of their being unsure of their particular role in their parents choosing to divorce.
Each child needs to have their own self identity, and that is even more so when their parents have gotten a divorce. Children need to be able to follow their own dreams and engage in activities that make them happy. Trying new experiences can also help them to cope with what is going on as well.
Every attempt should be made by both parents to keep some aspects of their lives and routines the same during the divorce. Children will recognize this and it will help them to get their footing back. Stability is very important for children in order for them to thrive. Coping with new family dynamics as well as a new living environment can be very overwhelming.
It is very important for parents to encourage their children to talk openly about how the divorce is affecting them. Too many children hide what they truly feel as they don’t want to make things more difficult for their parents. They can see they are already hurting and they don’t want to compound that. Children can be very compassionate that way.
However the tense dynamic between their parents, and the evolving conflict doesn’t help them as far as developing their own identity or with their self esteem. Suppressing what is really going on inside of them can lead to depression and other problems for your child. They may learn to be what they feel others want them to be at the expense of being who it is that they really want to be. This is a struggle that they will find difficult to deal with.
The effects of a divorce are ongoing. Divorce doesn’t just affect children when they are first told about what will be taking place. They are going to take their cues from the adults, so make sure you and their other parent set a good example. Do your best to have a decent relationship with your soon to be ex spouse if only for the sake of your children.
Encourage your children to do what is going to make them happy. At the same time you need to do the same thing. You want to be able to fully recover from the effects of the divorce yourself. If you aren’t able to, you won’t be able to fully commit to the needs of your children.
Having a strong sense of self esteem is very important for a child. They will need it in order to have the desire to pursue their goals and their dreams. Knowing who you are and being proud of that is a significant factor. While you can’t shield your children from all of the negative emotions and burdens of a divorce you can help them maintain those two things. Be willing to step into their shoes and see how things are going to affect them in the overall scheme of things.
There are too many adults out there right now carrying around scars from their own childhood and the divorce of their own parents. In our society divorce is very common and in many instances unavoidable. If that is the right choice for you, then make sure you do everything in your power to help your children do more than just survive it.
What steps can you take to help your children live happily after your divorce?
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