Raising happy kids is one of the most difficult experiences that separated couples face. How do you assure your kids that they are loved and that they are not to blame for the divorce? Besides, the psychological trauma that kids face during and after divorce leaves them in worry and fear that their remaining parent might walk out on them too.
As two separate studies show, 20% of children whose parents separated do not do well in school, social situations and they are at a higher risk of depression and other health issues. But there is a silver lining on how divorce may affect your kids. The studies also show that 80% of children of divorce adjust well, and their grades, social life, and emotional health do not suffer permanent damaging effects.
The difference between the two outcomes? Children thrive when their parents are cooperating and getting along with each other.
According to Parents, what hurts kids is the conflict that comes with divorce, and not really the divorce itself.
So, how can you continue raising your kids happily after divorce?
Explain The Divorce To Your Children
Your kids need to know about your separation in a clear and age-appropriate way as stated by Today’s Parent. They also need to know that they are not to blame and that they still have a family. This is an important task that you may need to repeat over and over again while keeping yourself open for more discussion.
Doing this will help assure your kids that they are not to blame, whenever they fall prey to such feelings during moments when they are dealing with anxiety or are feeling vulnerable. Your kids will also know that they can talk to you whenever they feel like talking.
Never Fight In Front Of Your Kids
Your kids do not need to be caught in between your conflict after a divorce. Granted, there will be times when you need someone to confide in, especially when you are grieving after the divorce.
Seek professional counsel so you can have someone to talk to, and particularly one that will guide you through the grieving process. Life is tough enough for your kids who have to live in two houses and spend time away from one parent as they visit the other. It is not the time to release bottled-up sentiments in a setting that will hurt your children.
Along with that, consider keeping your exchanges with your ex to a minimum if the two of you cannot still bear the sight of each other.
Allow Your Kids To Grieve & Respect Their Boundaries
Grief also happens to kids when a marriage ends. It is the normal emotional response after a penetrating life change, as Divorce Mag explains. Your kids will go through denial and fury before they come to terms with the separation and finally accept it.