Helping your child during a divorce or separation

It may have a significant impact on your child but you can make things a little easier for them

Divorce isn’t easy for the people involved who find themselves unable to carry on in a relationship together but have their children to consider too.
Kids will feel the impact of a parent’s separation but with some help and the right kind of guidance your child can manage their feelings and emotions well enough so they can avoid letting it effect their long-term decisions or health. 
It is reported that children whose parents divorce are more at risk of being sexually active at a younger age since their self-esteem may be low and they may have felt significant stress in their young lives. It is noted that younger children fair better when it comes to a parent’s break-up and that they cope better. For teenagers, a mix of puberty and the stress of a break up can lead them into mischief but with good parenting and care your child does not have to carry the burden of a break-up. 
According to Deccan Chronicle psychologist from the city, Dr. Diana Monteiro, said that it depends on the parents in how their child gets affected. If parents handle it well, the effects on their psyche can be minimal.  “Generally, a difficult married life leads to a divorce, and witnessing the parents go through such stages and then suffer through a divorce in which the child cannot do anything, leaves a mark on their minds for a long time” said the Doctor.
However, it isn’t all bad news, parents play a huge part in how a divorce or separation is dealt with and therefore can prevent long term issues by being there for their child at this difficult time… 
Here are some tips on helping your child during a break-up-
  • Be honest- Your child needs to have you and their other parent sit them down for an honest chat about the separation. It is best to be honest and truthful reminding your child that while there will be changes that you and your partner are committed to you and will be there. 
  • Explain to your child in an age appropriate manner- Your child need explanations but you need to do so in an age appropriate manner. Consider what you child understands and how much information they need. Avoid getting pulled into arguments with your partner and avoid blaming. It will not help anyone. 
  • Don’t be negative about your partner- Even if your partner is in the wrong your child doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of it. Right now, it is imperative that you protect your child and allow them to get used to the situation without any mud-slinging. 
  • Keep your kiddies busy- Once you and your partner have decided to separate you should try and keep your child busy to distract them from the break-up. Continuing their normal routine is vital for your child to remain normal. 
  • Be happy and encourage your child to look to the future- It is hard when parents separate but it doesn’t have to mean your child won’t be happy again. With good parents your child will be able to live a normal and happy life, if you do the right things now. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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