When two people decide to get married, they leave the altar optimistic and hopeful that they will be together forever, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, ‘til death do them part.
Some marriages work out wonderfully despite trying times. However, other unions aren’t as fortunate. The bumps on the road have left far too many bruises and scars that their promise to have and to hold each other, to love and cherish one another, has dissolved. Some even go to the extent of filing criminal cases against each other, requiring the services of a bail bondsman.
Yes, divorce can be pretty ugly.
Couples who go through the rigorous and often stressful process of divorce don’t just think of themselves. They also have to deal with the burden of helping their kids deal and cope with the divorce.
Fortunately, couples now have several ways of helping their kids through this difficult time.
7 Ways Divorced Parents Can Help Their Kids Deal with the Process
Co-parent in peace
Intense conflicts and arguments are known to increase distress among children in a broken family. Hostility towards one another, especially when children witness it, lead to behavioral problems. Seek to always peacefully fulfill your responsibilities to them.
If you’re having a hard time co-parenting with your ex, seek professional help.
Never put the kids in the middle
Do not put your children in situations where they are made to choose between one of you. Don’t even pass the responsibility to them of having to communicate your concerns with the other parent. It is found that kids who feel they are caught in the middle are more prone to depression.
Build and maintain a healthy parent-child relationship
As parents, you need to keep the conflict at a minimum with each other and acknowledge that you need one another to raise your children even if you’re no longer together. Co-parenting will be a lot less stressful if you have a healthy relationship with each other.
It is also paramount for each parent, especially the one who is away, to build and establish a warm loving relationship with their children. Kids who still feel loved and valued have an easier time adjusting to the changes in family dynamics.
Do not withhold discipline
Some parents feel the need to loosen up a bit on the discipline department to help the kids cope with the divorce. After all, they want to make the most out of the situation and avoid anything that will make the kids feel bad.
However, withholding discipline from the kids can lead to delinquency. It is found that children who receive age-appropriate disciplinary methods are less likely to misbehave and have better chances of improving academic performance.
Watch over adolescents closely
Everyone copes with the challenges of divorce in different ways. Some bounce back quickly, while others take longer to recover. Teens have the tendency to get angry at one or both parents and may turn to other means of coping such as substance abuse or rebellion.
Keep a closer eye on your teens and make sure to always pay attention to what they say and do.
Always make them feel safe and secure
Children who deal with the consequences of divorce often feel abandoned and doubtful of the future. Make sure to always communicate to your children that you love them and care for them. Children who feel loved, safe, and secure are less likely to experience mental health problems.
Seek help and get educated as parents
A lot of specialists, therapists, and counselors now offer programs to help families deal with the changes that come with a divorce. These programs teach divorced couples how to effectively raise their children together and how to help them deal with the other challenges their children are going through. If you’re at your wit’s end, seek help from a professional and be guided accordingly.
Divorce is never an easy thing for everyone in the family. Things tend to get worse before it gets better. The important thing to keep in mind is to remain civil for the children and do your parts as parents to make sure that they’re still getting the love, attention, and security they need from both of you.