The news that their parents are getting a divorce can be extremely difficult for children. Big life changes are always stressful, no matter the age, but when the two largest influences in a child’s life are separating, it can be downright devastating. However, there is hope in healing from this event, and taking these steps can lead to a more peaceful and pleasant life for your child. Here are three big things kids want from their parents when they are going through a divorce.
1. Reassurance of Love and Care
Children often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Children need to be reassured that their parents love them, and that they are still wanted. It must be emphasized that the parents are not going through the divorce because of the children. This is essential for any kind of healing and it will help them to adjust to the new changes or circumstances in their lives.
2. Be Kind to One Another
Children want to see their parents be kind to each other. Depending on the severity and complexities of the divorce, this may not be an easy task, but it is necessary for children to see their parents being considerate of one another. It is important to avoid disparaging the other parent when the children are nearby. It is better to be compassionate with each other even though it is not firmly planted in your heart.
3. Be Present, and Be Cordial When You are Together
Children want to see both parents and they like seeing their parents together. This is not always a possibility but is highly encouraged. For major life events, such as graduation or college move-in, both parents should be there and be cordial to each other. In high-conflict families and divorces, it can be difficult to be even in the same room as the ex-spouse. This is extremely stressful for the child, especially during major events that have so much meaning. Parents need to set aside their differences as hard as that may be, for the sake of the children.
Co-parenting can be difficult during and after a divorce. In a Collaborative Divorce, there are professionals available to create a co-parenting plan and to advocate for your child.