When a couple decide that their marriage is not working out and the only option open to them is to get a divorce. This can be difficult for a husband and wife, but it can be a very difficult time for children. It can sometimes be the children who are hurt the most at this difficult time as they do not fully understand what their parents are going through. Many children can be left feeling very confused by the whole divorce process.
There are many professionals who have experience in dealing with children in these difficult times. They can offer help and support to both parents and children on how to deal with the situation. They can provide therapy and counselling sessions where all members of the family will have a chance to express how they feel and listen to the views and concerns of the rest of the family.
The family may find online programs and classes useful. They can provide parents with the necessary information they may need when trying to explain the situation to their children. Parents may be able to talk to other parents at the classes and this may give the parents extra support to get through the painful times.
Some children find it very traumatic trying to deal with the fact that their parents are getting divorced. Therapy sessions where the child can talk to an expert on a one to one basis may be a big help for the child. Some children feel that they have no one to talk to and spending time with a therapist allows them to offload their thoughts and feelings.
When children are having trouble coming to terms with the changes the family is going through, a teacher may be the first person to notice that there are difficulties. The child’s behaviour may change; they may have gone from being well behaved to behaving badly. An outgoing child might become very quiet and start spending time on their own. It may be easy for the child to talk about their problems with a teacher they know well.
It is important that the parents take the time to help their children to understand what they are going through. Making the effort to explain the process to the child will stop them being so confused about what is happening.
Both sets of parents should make an effort to ensure that the children still feel that they are loved and are important to their parents. When the children ask questions do not try to keep facts from them as they will only resent it when they find out the truth.
Many parents try to turn the children against the other parent. This is a big mistake and one they will probably live to regret. It is necessary for the children’s wellbeing that they keep in contact with both parents. Trying to come to terms with the divorce is difficult enough for the children involved without having the added hurt of listening to one parent bad mouthing the other.
It is important that both parents try to keep a positive attitude for the children’s future. Children who feel loved by both parents will be much happier and will perform better at school. Try to encourage children to keep in touch with their friends as well as going to any groups that they enjoy. It is vital that life for the children is kept as normal as possible to ensure that they get through the whole process keeping the level of hurt to a minimum.
Elizabeth Preston is a marriage guidance expert who has written several articles giving advice on coping with divorce. Family mediation is now recognised as one of the best ways of helping families to cope with the stress of divorce. Elizabeth suggests contacting a family mediation lawyer for further information on how mediation could reduce the stress on your family relationships.