Divorce is an emotionally-taxing situation that affects a lot of people. It’s a burden for the parties, but those who are the most affected are their children. Even if the marriage did not end on a good note, the ex-spouses should still make an effort to maintain a cordial relationship for the sake of their kids.
Although it’s bound to be a complicated and emotional situation for the entire family, there are ways that the parents can protect their children from their divorce.
- Don’t involve them in direct conflict
Conflict is inevitable during a divorce. The ex-spouses will not see eye-to-eye, after all, they’re getting divorced. However, they should know to keep their disagreements and conflict between themselves. The children do not need to know about the divorce, much less become a messenger for the parents.
Instead of weighing down the children with conflict and drama, parents should take this as an opportunity to teach their children about resilience and give them the skills and traits that they need to cope with the situation.
- Think before acting or speaking
It’s worth it for parents to understand that they cannot completely protect their children during a divorce. They’re going to find out about it and become aware of some matters that a divorce entails. But the children are going to be paying attention to how the parents handle their divorce — and they’re going to remember it for the rest of their lives.
So parents need to be careful about what they say and do during the divorce. They should handle it in the best way possible and make good decisions that will create positive impacts on a child’s future.
- Be there for them
Throughout this scary and overwhelming experience, the parents need to be there for their children. It’s as simple as being present during these trying times, listening to them, and communicating with them.
Emotional support is the solid rock that parents can provide for their children as of the moment. This is an opportunity for the parents to relate with their children on a deeper level and help them manage and overcome this big change, struggle, and adversity.
- Remind them that it’s temporary
Probably the biggest fear that children have about their parents getting divorced is the fact that it’s a permanent loss of a family. Although it is a big change that will take a while for everyone to get used to and move on from, parents should remind their children that the emotions are temporary.
Tell them that everyone will be able to feel happy and excited again — that this will pass and it will strengthen your relationships. Remember that being present doesn’t mean that you have to be serious with them all the time. It also means having fun with the children to take off the stress.
- Be a good example
This is an opportunity for the parents to show their children that these difficult situations can happen in life. It’s a way for the parents to become a good example to their children and teach them how to deal with struggles that they will face in real life.
If seen from this point of view, a parent will be more careful about what they say and do during a divorce. Not only that, but the children will also be able to handle the divorce so much better because they understand why it happens and will be better equipped to handle similar adversities in the future.
Divorce is no doubt a tough experience. But through the process, parents must remember to protect the children. They’re having a much tougher time with this than the ex-spouses are, but undertaking proactive efforts to protect the kids can go a long way in helping the entire family move on from this adversity.