Three years ago my husband and I separated and divorced, there was no malice, no foul play and no acrimony, we just felt that our marriage had run its course. The problem we were faced with however was how to help the kids get through it, we had an 8 year old boy and a 11 year old girl who were old enough to understand what was going on, but not old enough to understand what was happening.
I can remember clearly sitting in the law office of Amanda J. Cook all those years ago and trying to create a plan in my head for how snd what we would tell the kids. Three years on and we have survived, the kids have strong relations with both me and my husband and despite a few clips along the way, I think we managed pretty well. If you are going through a separation or divorce where there are kids involved then here is how you should handle it.
There is no point sugarcoating or lying to your kids about what is happening, they often know more than we give them credit for and they are bound to know that something is up. Sit your kids down and explain to them what is happening, you naturally don’t need to go into the raw details, especially if there is hostility but you do need to explain the cold, hard facts. This will not only serve to inform your children about what is going on, it will also create an environment where they can ask questions, which they will have a lot of.
Remind Them You Love Them
Without wanting to get too philosophical, love is a very powerful emotion when helping your kids get through this difficult time. Children will often blame themselves for a separation or get the feeling that because of the break-up, that they are no longer loved. You and I know that this is never true and you need to shower them with lots of love. Remember that showing love is not about buying things or taking the kids on days out, this is guilt, not love.
You should never fight in front of your children and no matter how difficult things are between you and your partner, you need to hold it in when the kids are around. Fighting in front of children will only show them that shouting and arguing is ok and as we know, kids copy everything.
You may not like the idea of your child going off with the other parent after a separation but you nee dot remember that your child needs both of their parents and time with each it is important. Don’t show that you are unhappy with the situation, make time for your child to spend with your ex and show your child that you are happy with the situation.
There is no rule book to how to deal with this kind of situation and of course, every divorce is different, in my experience however, showing your kids love, communicating clearly and being flexible seems to be the best way for you to deal with this.