Break ups are hard enough on us adults without children being involved while dealing with divorce emotions.
I have heard people say that they try and continue as though nothing has happened when the other spouse leaves the home.
But the one thing that I tell parents is not to pretend that everything is ok or that the relationship break-up is not serious as it seems.
It is serious and this moment in time, the breakup of the family unit, will always be a watershed moment in your child’s life, no matter what the reasons for divorce are. So it’s vital that your child is provided with a safe and secure environment in which he can have a voice and be heard.
In the meantime, you as the parent are left with not only coping with divorce and all the emotions that that brings up in you but you are also expected to continue being that good, attentive and caring parent while inside you feel anything but.
You begin to worry about the effects of divorce on children while dealing with the whole divorce process or divorce procedure. You have divorce papers to complete and submit while trying to deal with issues around your child’s wellbeing and welfare.
And when you get something “wrong”, as divorced parents often do because after all we are still human, you sit and wonder if this “mistake” will be that long-term effect of divorce on children you so often hear about.
I say, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You can try but If you feel upset and weepy, it is ok to let your children know and to let them see you upset.
Yes it is. Why? Because then you are telling them that it is ok for them too to be upset. It is ok to feel bad about what is going on and not only show it but also talk about it.
By seeing you cry one minute and then getting on with what you have to the next, sends them the message that it is possible to feel upset, really upset at times because it will pass and life goes on because emotions are normal and they can be handle.
What is not ok though is to talk to children about what your ex partner has done to you. Don’t, in a fit of anger, slag off their father or mother no matter what. It is not fair on them at all because after all he is still their father or she is still their mother. No matter what.
If you are concerned about your little ones, do contact me.
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