The period leading up to a divorce is often a turbulent time for the family. Emotions run high and children have often been aware of conflict between their parents for sometime.
However prepared your children have been, they often struggle to come to terms with the break up itself. For this reason, it is important for children to know what’s happening when their parents decide to divorce.
Below we have put together some guidance you might find useful.
Talk To Your Children
Children are often confused and upset by the conflict surrounding divorce but are not always able to express it. Their behaviour can change, becoming aggressive or clingy, misbehaving at school or wetting the bed and it can really help them to be able to talk about it.
Encourage your children to talk to you. Go for a walk or play a game together and let them get things off their chest.
Allow your children to talk about your ex-partner and answer any questions they may have without being negative.
Keep children informed about what’s happening as this will help to calm their anxieties about the future.
Let them know they are not to blame, reassure them, tell them you love them and will always be there for them.
Spend Quality Time With Your Children
Following the trauma of divorce, it is vital to make your children the number one priority and build close bonds with them. Find out their interests and organise days out around them. You don’t need to put on lavish treats, often feeding the ducks or going to the park is what they most enjoy. Stay in touch with the school and attend any parent teacher meetings or events such as musical concerts of sports day that your child is involved in.
Encourage Contact With Extended Family
It is widely accepted that positive contact with extended family is beneficial to children in terms of their well-being and self esteem. This is particularly true following a divorce when children may be insecure about their relationships to others. Encourage grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins to visit regularly and take the children to visit them. If possible try to include your ex-partner’s family. Family holidays are the perfect opportunity for children to spend quality time with relations and has the added bonus that you will have company on holiday too.