Divorce is always an emotionally draining time for the couple, but it takes a very particular toll on the children. Both parents have to be on the same page as to how they are to help their child navigate this rather tumultuous time. It is important for parents to enforce a positive attitude towards the divorce by putting their differences aside and looking out for the child’s best interest.
What does a child want?
Ideally, they would like for their parents to stay together and fix whatever issues they may have. Unfortunately, that is something that is out of their control. However, it is vital for parents to know that their children have a series of wants that should be met to help the child navigate the divorce process.
For one, every child wants both of his or her parents to be present in their lives. Parents must stay involved and make sure that they are doing well during this very difficult time. It is also important for parents to stop arguing, especially in front of the child and even more so when it’s about the child’s future. This only adds to the child’s tension. Eventually, the child wants to spend equal time with both parents and wants to have direct communication with them and know exactly what will happen to him or her. It is also vital that both parents never speak poorly of each other in front of their child. Always be respectful towards one another and reinforce to the child that both parents love him or her very much.
What does a child need?
Every child needs to hear the truth, just as it is, without any twists or embellishments. However, both parents must find ways to express the truth to their child without giving away too much information that may be difficult for the child to understand.
The hardest thing for a child to know is that both of his or her parents are not getting back together. Many of them still have hope that their parents will eventually make up and drop the divorce. However, parents must reinforce to the child that they will be there for their child and will love him or her even after the divorce.
Since children overhear their parents fighting about custody issues and the future of their child, they oftentimes assume that they are somewhat responsible for their fighting. Parents must tell them that this is not the case. No child should carry with a burden that heavy and should be told that they are not responsible for the divorce.
All this information varies depending on the child’s age and the information given must be done in a respectful and proper manner. Parents must be aware that divorce can take a toll on the family but, in the long run, remedies can be done, and children can have a long and fruitful relationship with both parents.