Teachers, parents of friends, and employers need to be alerted about the major family change that is occurring. Just as you might experience decreased work productivity, you might notice a drop off in your child’s school performance (Fagan and Churchill, 2012).
You and your spouse might be emotionally or physically ready for a divorce, but remember that a sudden announcement will surprise your children. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your children will understand your divorce.
You must tell your children frequently that they are not responsible for your divorce. Let them know that they are loved dearly and that all of their needs will be met (Lee & Bax, 2000).
Children Cannot Cause Divorce
Children make the mistake of believing that they are a cause of their parent’s divorce. You have to consistently let your children know that they are not the reason for your divorce. Children might start to ask themselves what they could have done better. Divorce is between the adults and not the children.
Children will try to figure out what they can do to get their parents back together. The truth is: there is nothing that children can do to make sure that their parents get back together. Divorce has nothing to do with children. Children might start to behave better, get straight A’s in an attempt to get you and your spouse back together. On the flip side, children might act out in school to get their parents back together.
Strategies to Help Your Children Through Divorce
Be Honest- Children are perceptive. Do not lie to them. If you are separating, let your children know that. Do not just tell them “Dad is away on business.”
Make sure they understand that your divorce is not their fault. Gently reassure them that your divorce has nothing to do with them.
Listen to them- Children just want to be heard. You do not always have to find a solution to their concerns. Instead, just listen to their worries and let them express their feelings.
Let them know that feelings are normal. Let them know that the emotions they feel about your divorce are completely normal. They should not have to hide their feelings.
Let them know that it is normal for them to want their parents to get back together. Make sure that they know that you and the other parent will not be getting back together.
Read a book on divorce with your children. This can open a door for communication and give you a forum to communicate your feelings.
Get your child involved in extracurricular activities.
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