There are loads of things children of divorce need and don’t need when going through divorce but I’ll name just three of the main ones in this post.
If parents are able to follow just these three then it’s very likely that all else will fall into place and hence any chances of long or short term negative effects of divorce on children maybe reduced.
They are not easy to follow and neither is raising children while going through the divorce process but we need to do what we can to make sure that our children’s divorce experience isn’t one that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
This experience can be one that they are able to live through and remember it as something that happened not as something that is still going on in their adult lives.
When raising children of divorce they need to be excluded from all adult matters. A dear friend of mine who works as a nurse in a primary school sees, first hand, the effects of divorce on children both in their behaviour and academic performance.
She has told the story of a boy who once spent most of the day in her office in tears and in self-isolation, as he waited to hear from his parents as to whether he was going to live with his mother or father.
He was only 7 years old and knew the ins and outs of the divorce process and all of the legal goings on between the parents.
Another mum explained how she was surprised when her daughter asked if “daddy had paid the money,” because she wanted to know if she will then be able to see him.
She hadn’t realised that her daughter was indeed paying great attention each time she said to her that daddy wasn’t paying her any money and so he didn’t deserve to spend time with her.
There are things that children don’t need to know. They don’t need to be involved in adult matters. Children of divorce need to be left to continue being children, as much as possible. And only you as the parents can do this for them.
You are your child’s trustee and that responsibility goes a long, long way including when you are filled with resentment towards the other parent – that’s when your parenting capablities are truly tested. Will you make the grade or are you the toxic parent?
The best gift you can give your child during and after the filing for divorce and the divorce process is over, is to get on with their other parent, for your child’s sake.
If you’re finding it hard to do, seek help, create a support system around you that can hold you up when things get rough. It’s probably going to be a long, hard slog but I promise you,for your child’s sake, it will be worth it.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org