Photo Credit: iStock
By: Christine Schoenwald
Divorce affects children more intensely than you think, and they need your attention and support more than ever.
For children, divorce can be many things: stressful, confusing, and sad. They may feel anger at the thought of losing a parent, even when you’ve been quick to reassure them they will continue to be loved by both parents.
You may be feeling your way around in this brand new divorced world, but you can successfully navigate this challenging time. Being fully present with your child will reassure them, and if you treat them with patience and understanding they’ll have a continued sense of security.
A child has many wants, especially when their parents are in the middle of a divorce. Most importantly, they want both their parents to be involved in their lives.
If one parent is only able to see the child on certain days and occasions, the parent should call, Skype, or write emails and letters that ask a lot of questions. This makes the child feel as though their relationship is continuous and unbroken.
Children also need their parents to stop fighting and to work to get along. They don’t want to hear one parent bad-mouth the other, and they don’t want to hear the parents fighting about them; it makes them feel like they did something wrong.
Since a child loves both his or her parents, it’s up to the parents to respect their son or daughter’s love for the other parent. Don’t be jealous or upset of the time the child spends with the other parent.
In this powerful video, we really get to hear the often-silenced voice of children of divorce:
Divorce is difficult on you, your ex, and especially your children. Communicate with each other and you’ll make it easier on your child. They shouldn’t be the go-between for you and the other parent.
Every child needs to be reminded that they can count on both parents for stability, structure, and love, no matter what the relationship between his or her parents is.
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