No matter how hard parents try, divorce will always affect children. There are ways in which you can protect them and stop them being too upset and children do adapt very easily to different situations. However, here are a few things that your children may be feeling during your divorce, so you can understand how to protect them.
Generally children of all ages will be feeling uncertain and anxious. The older the child the more information that they will need in order to understand the situation. Children do not always know how to voice their anxieties, so it is important that you do your utmost to predict what they will be thinking so you can take some worry off their minds.
In most cases children do not want their parents to split up. They hold onto the hope that their parents will get back together. Not knowing whether it will be temporary or permanent causes them a lot of worry.
Children feel anxious that they have done something wrong to cause the break up. They worry that perhaps they could do something in order to help their parents to get back together. This feeling is not helped by films and TV shows that highlight this possibility.
When one parent moves out children also worry a lot that they will lose touch with that parent. Unfortunately they often take it out on the remaining parent and suddenly show a lot of favour towards the absent parent. Phone calls and visits will help to ease this worry.
Not knowing about the future will worry a lot of children. Reassuring them that everything will be ok and sticking to a routine interspersed with planned treats will help them to not worry so much about this. You may be extremely worried about the future, such as where you will live and if your children can stay in their school, but it is important not to worry them unnecessarily.
Some children may also be worried about the stigma attached to having divorced parents. They may be embarrassed in front of friends or may not want to go to school once they have found out, for fear that they will be picked on. Ensure that the teachers know exactly what is going on and tell the parents of your children’s friends, so they can help your child to adjust as well, by ensuring they spend time with their friends like normal.
If you are worried about your child’s behaviour during your divorce, speak to your GP and contact local support services, so you can ease them through the process.