Primarily, if you are certain of irreconcilable differences between you and your partner, try your best to keep the kids away from the disagreements and negative vibes, which children pick up amazingly fast. Do not make disparaging comments about your ex-partner to the children or in their presence; instead, ensure that the kids get attention from both you and your ex that they feel cherished.
Children often sense conflicts at home rather than make it out for themselves, so try and minimize any problems so they do not feel responsible for you two going your separate ways. A parent’s first duty is to protect their children and to give them a safe and loving atmosphere at home is vital for their wellbeing, so speak to them, get their feelings out and help them deal with the pressures of the new life they will be getting into with you going through the divorce
Explain to the children how the equation will change, but not your love (or your partner’s) for them even with the divorce happening; you may want to keep an eye out for any sudden change in their behavior or any moodiness they may exhibit so you are ready at hand with reassurance for them when they go through some doubts of their own
You may consider counseling and family therapy with your children if they are old enough to speak to a counselor as this will help get things in perspective for all of you and professional advice on dealing with a gamut of assorted feelings, such as rejection, betrayal, depression or even guilt.
Getting a chance to regularly express their feelings in a relaxed environment will make the children feel less threatened and vulnerable as opposed to simply confronting them with the news of the divorce and expecting them to take it like adults do; you have to understand kids take things differently and set their store by things differently, so explain the implications of the divorce to them in terms they understand or those that are important to them.
Do allow yourself your ex some time with the children alone as you would like had you been in his/her place; allow for them to have a healthy interaction with members of the family on both sides so they do not end up feeling confused or alienated later in life.
Try and keep some of their old favorite stuff and familiar surroundings close to them as children take a while to adjust to sudden and extreme changes like divorce is sure to bring out in their lives; a shared custody is a promising idea for the child not to feel divorced from either parent and having to divide loyalties between mum or dad. Do think about it – for your child’s sake!
Try and maintain an amicable if not friendly relationship with your ex so your children do not withstand the most of a marriage gone-wrong.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Divorce, Turn to Religion to Get Through It All”
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