Divorce is hard on everyone. It is especially hard for children to deal with. There are many emotional stages that you may see surface in your child when you begin to go through the process of ending your marriage with his/her other parent. It is important to recognize the common emotional stages that children go through in order to help them deal with the changes effectively.
Here are the most common emotional stages you should be aware of:
Children want both of their parents to live in the same house. It is a very sad occasion for them when one of the parents leaves the home. It is important for your children to understand that just because that parent no longer lives with them, the children will still be able to spend time with the other parent. Even in the most difficult of divorces, children should not be punished for it. It is up to the parents to ensure that they get to spend time with each parent. The sadness comes because it is like death to children. It marks the end of their happiness as far as they can see. Nothing will ever be the same. Talking to your children to let them know that although things are not going to be the same, things will get better in time.
It is quite common for children to get mad at one of the parents or even both. It is easy for the children to blame the parent who they still live with. Children don’t see the whole picture. All they see is that their family is no longer together and it tears apart their world. Talk to your child. Try to understand how he/she is feeling. Let him/her know that you understand why he/she is so angry. Helping your child deal with anger issues that he/she is feeling is very important. Anger can spill over into everyday life when the child begins to act out because of it. This isn’t good for the child or anyone who is in his/her presence.
Children will almost always go into denial when their parents get divorced. They build up a false hope that the parents will get back together and everything will be fine. This is a fantasy like stage where the child will try everything in his/her power to bring the family together again. This is common even in adult children of divorced parents. Children don’t understand why their parents can’t live together anymore. All they know is that they want their parents to live in the same house. Do not reinforce this feeling. It is important to encourage your child to realize that you won’t be living with the other parent again.
Divorce is an emotional roller coaster. It doesn’t just affect the married couple. It affects many more lives than that. Children don’t understand it and they probably shouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, divorce is a huge part of how society works. Divorce was once very difficult to obtain which made it the most undesirable solution to a couples problems. In today’s society, divorce is very easily obtained. It is now one of the number one ways to get rid of the problems that arise throughout married life.
It is important that your children are given as much information as possible. A divorce is more than two people getting divorced when children are involved. It is the dissolution of a family’s life. Keep open communication with the children so that they know what to expect. Teach them how to deal with their emotions effectively so that the long term affects don’t destroy them.