Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce

By: Mick Spencer

Staying together for the children when a marriage goes wrong is all very noble but is it the right thing to do? Divorce can quite often be the better option even for them as the tension within the home can do more damage than separation. Even if there isn't all the shouting, arguing and slamming of doors children can sense when things are not quite right and may even think it could be their fault.

Once the decision to divorce has been made it is important to keep the children informed of what is happening using vocabulary appropriate to their age. Make sure they are clear on how they will be affected and try to make their upheaval as little as possible. To have to change schools or move away from their friends at such a time can make the process far more difficult for them.

They should be reassured that the changes going on are due to nothing they have done. Many children wonder if they are to blame and it can take a lot of repeating to actually get it through to them that their parents can no longer stay together because of how the parents feel and not because they've done or said something to cause the rift.

Try not to involve the children in the real reasons why the divorce is happening. This may cause them to apportion blame to one parent or the other and therefore take sides. They should not be put in this position and should be allowed to love and respect each parent just as they have always done.

Keeping schools and other organisations your children belong to informed is a good idea. The official adults they are in contact with can then make more informed decisions on how to behave with your child. They are also more likely to notice if there are any profound changes in your child's behaviour which may suggest they are not handling the situation well. There is no shame in divorce these days. It is certainly not uncommon and these official adults may well have previous experience with children in this situation and be able to help.

All this is very well as long as both parents are prepared to play ball. If your ex-partner is being awkward in any way then admit to your children that you do not agree with the way they are behaving without actually putting the other partner down - this can be a tricky situation to handle to ensure this does not become a negative . This is a really difficult situation to be in but try not to drag the children into the argument.

Children need to still have both parents and know that both parents still want them. There will always end up being just the one principle carer but the other parent should still make a place in their home that belongs to the children. Even if it's only a corner of a room where they can keep some of their bits and pieces. It shows them that they are always wanted there.

Good can be that one or both parents start to look for a new relationship. This, too, can be an unsettling experience for the children, especially if the introduction is handled in the wrong way. It is often less stressful to introduce a new partner as a friend at first and to make sure that any intimate moments take place away from their eyes and ears. This way the children can form a good relationship with this person and be happy when they find out that the association is rather more than 'just friends'.

As far ash the children are concerned, even once divorce has taken place, mum, dad and kids are still family. This means they will want both parents involved in the important events in their lives. Try to help each other and work together in getting both of you to the school play or graduation day. You may have ended your marriage but your partnership in bringing up your children in the best way possible must continue.

Divorce and Infidelity
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