Divorce and Kids | Can Children Be Happy With Divorced Parents?
Divorce has become very rampant in the last decade. The courts keep on recording hundreds of divorce requests from couples on a weekly basis as people are resorting to taking a full split, despite having children.
It’s almost as if there are divorced families wherever you turn to. The critical aspect of divorces is the fact that a lot of them have children involved in this scenario and every year, millions of parents have to engage in the “talk” with their kids about divorce. Parents employ different tactics in this sensitive aspect of divorce. However, the ultimate goal is to openly and honestly explain to the child why daddy and mummy can’t be together anymore. This discussion is also about trying to reassure the child about the love of the parents and how the child won’t suffer. Life after divorce with kids is never rosy. It comes with challenges, some nearly impossible to overcome. This leaves one of the most challenging questions, Divorce and Kids “Can children be happy with divorced parents?”
The answer to this question mostly depends on how the parents handle the situation and the methods employed in raising kids after divorce. The starting point that determines the happiness of children of divorced parents is how well the news is conveyed to them.
Divorce and Kids | Can Children Be Happy With Divorced Parents?
Raising kids after divorce
When it comes to raising kids after divorce, here are some essential things to take note of:
- Proper communication with your partner: There is nothing that ruins a child mentally more than the prospect of seeing the parents bickers at every opportunity. Even though the marriage didn’t work out well between the parents, it is crucial to understand that the responsibility of raising the child still lies on both of you. Therefore, you need to present a united front to the child by carefully outlining your agreements and drafting a workable plan for your children. The more realistic the plan is, the better it is to execute the plan. When there is a substantial agreement between partners, and it is followed diligently, your child will experience less anxiety in the long run.
- Using the proper language to break the news: How you break the news also depends on the age of your child. If your child is really quite young, break the news in such a way that won’t instill fear in the child’s heart. Be sure to pay attention to all questions and answer them as best as you can. It is vital to use the proper language for your child so that they can fully understand the situation.
- Don’t forget to assure them of your love: Children cherish the love that they get from their parents and would certainly react negatively if they believe that this love doesn’t exist anymore. When telling your child about divorce, be sure to reassure them of your love as much as you can and let them know that your love for your spouse is the only thing that has changed. A strong and constant reassurance of love helps in making the children understand that they are not the ones responsible for the separation.
- Don’t expose your children to violence. Fights on mundane issues such as time spent with your children do not speak well of your union and could make children of divorced parents degenerate into individuals with no zeal for life.
- Seek a support system or group so that you don’t use your children as emotional punching bags. Do not try to prematurely suppress your feelings of anger and hurt. Instead, share your feelings with friends and professionals. We should never use your children as therapists.
Can divorce be good for a child?
Well, this depends on how the parents handle the separation. If you remain the same loving family that your child remembers you as, despite the split, then your child won’t be so negatively affected by the divorce, and it could end up being good for the child. Here are some ways to make divorce good for a child:
- Never forget to be communicative and honest as possible both during and after the divorce process. There will always be different degrees of feelings based on the events surrounding the divorce. However, if you communicate with your child honestly instead of trying to make them feel dumb, you will be able to keep from hurting your child.
- Keep assuring your kids that the divorce is not their fault.
- A constant routine is also essential. Just because you are a divorcee doesn’t mean that you have to change up the routine altogether. Sure, there are things you may not be able to do anymore. However, you shouldn’t make significant changes to the routine.
- Be open to questions about divorce from your children. Do not shun them or try to force them to ignore the situation. Instead, depending on their age, give an appropriate answer that can be fully understood.
- You may be tempted to rant once in a while and use your children as a sounding board. Don’t do it. Do not turn your children to confidants and heap the load on them.
- Do not try to control your child’s reaction to your divorce. It’s okay for them to get angry or shed tears. Instead of making them feel silly for this reaction, give them the needed space and help them ease through the process. They don’t have to suffer for your decision.
- It is not a good idea to discuss your divorce-related problems with your children. Try to make them feel safe throughout the process. Telling them about these problems will only increase their struggle with the divorce.
- Let your child’s school or teacher know about the divorce so that they can pay attention to any unusual signs or behaviors that need to be attended to without delays.
- It is quite common to see some divorcees getting new boyfriends or girlfriends almost every month. No one wants to keep coming home to a different face regularly. Only introduce your child to your partner when you are sure that the person could become an active part of your child’s life too.
- Show that you are an active part of your child’s life by never missing any extracurricular or school function Even if it has not been recorded as your parenting time, let your child know that their achievements still matter to you and you were ready to cheer them on.
- Do not try to get your child’s love or attention by spending frivolously on them. Sure, the child may like it, but going over the top is strongly discouraged. Instead, try to spend more quality and fun time with them. They will appreciate this more.
- Divorcees should carry themselves along when it comes to important decision-making situations. Present a unified front to your children so that they know that both parents are ready to take the necessary responsibility despite not staying under the same roof.
- Do not get into fights or insult your ex-partner in front of your children. Your children do not need to be an audience or referee for violence. Instead, try to interact with each other with as much civility as possible.
- Keep making your child feel loved and safe. Like you, your children will have to go through their own healing process, and if you communicate effectively, you can minimize the negative impact your divorce will have on them. Most importantly, children need to feel loved and safe. If both parents can agree that this is the main objective, the probability of raising kids after divorce who are healthy and happy increases significantly.
No doubt, divorce is painful and traumatic for all involved – spouses and children alike. We all happily begin our lives together full of shared hopes and dreams and committed to a lasting and loving relationship. Yet almost 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce, according to OnlineDivorce. How parents handle divorce, however, makes the difference in their children’s healthy adjustment or potential maladjustment. A large percentage of parents express concerns that generally center around how their divorce will affect their children, and this concern is well placed. Many parents struggle with how much to tell their children and when.
The information shared above should get you started on the basic things you need to keep in mind to handle life after divorce with kids. As said earlier, you can’t tell a young child of fewer than six years old in blatant terms about divorce because of catching your spouse cheating. This information can be rephrased and told in more detail when conversing with a college-aged child. No matter their ages, this article clearly highlights things every parent needs to do to help their children understand what’s going on and help them cope with their divorce. When you are able to implement all these strategies outlined above, you will be confident enough to answer yes to the question, “Can divorce be good for a child?”
Divorce and Kids | Can Children Be Happy With Divorced Parents? is written in partnership with OnlineDivorce