During divorce, things can get a bit crazy, but you need to remember that your children experience an array of emotions, just like you do, when they find out about the divorce. A typical result is the children blaming themselves for the divorce, which as parents you know is the farthest from the truth but they will remember the times where their parents experienced conflict over them and their behavior.
It is essential to talk openly with your children about the divorce. They need to understand that they are not the cause of it. It may not make them feel ultimately better, but at least it won’t diminish their self-worth. Many children grow up and live healthy productive lives after a divorce, but many don’t. As parents, you want to do the best you can so your children don’t grow up feeling unloved, insecure, or unsure of their role in all of it.
During the divorce, and after, every attempt should be made by both parents to keep some familiar things the same. This provides a level of stability, and it helps them thrive and adapt. Divorce is overwhelming enough as it is for you so don’t neglect how it must feel for your children.
Encourage your children to talk openly with you and listen to what they have to say. They may not fully understand what is going on, but it helps them to express themselves. They may talk about how they miss the other parent, or they may ask questions that they shouldn’t have the answers too, but you can navigate your way through the conversation (don’t lose your cool). Too many children hide what they feel because they don’t want to hurt either of their parents. They need to get it out just like you do.
By suppressing their feelings on how the divorce is affecting them, it can lead to a low self-esteem and depression. They may even act out in anger and fits of rage because they just don’t know how to handle what they are going through.
The effects of divorce on children are ongoing, there will be good days and bad days. Encourage your children to do things that make them happy. You should do some of that stuff for yourself as well. Everyone needs to fully recovery from the divorce in order to heal and raise happy healthy children.
Having a good self-esteem is very important for a child. They will need it in order to pursue their dreams, meet their goals and love others. Knowing who you are and being proud goes a long way in developing that self-esteem. You can’t shield your children from all the effects of divorce but you can see them through it.
There are just too many adults out there right now carrying around scars from their own childhood because of divorce. We all know that divorce is common in our society and we need to do more than just survive, we must heal, love, and grow.