When you are going through a divorce, the divorce children are going in a similar direction. You know how you experience your divorce. Usually it is painfull, sometimes it is a relief. But what are the emotions your children go through?
Children often think that one of their parents went away because he or she does not love him or her anymore.
The environment of the child has changed the situation is not as convenient as it was.
There is only one parent at a time to care for them.
At the joint custody transition, it is important that the parent who picks up the children arrives in time. Before time is even better. You can say that you care and that daddy or mommy loves them. Coming late implicitly communicates that you do not care, that the appointment is not important to you. Children are very sensitive to parents keeping up with their promises.
Walk the talk to minimise these negative thoughts and feelings.
Leaving the family can give a very clear message. Children, and especially young children understand this message very well, but they are not able to express themselves clearly. They do not understand these hidden messages straightforward, but their feelings and emotions tell them there is something wrong.
To many young children their father is a hero. He should take care of them and of their mother. In fact, the hidden message is the same as with 'my parents don't love me any more.
To minimise or to avoid these negative emotions on divorce children, be very clear about the divorce and why one of the parents went away. Ideally, the parent that left should explain it to his children over and over again. The explanations must be accompanied by showing the children that they are important for you: pay attention to them, dedicate time and over deliver to your promises.
Children prefer stability. If you choose co-parenting and the children live partially with their mother and partially with their father, make a clear and simple schedule. Let your children have a say in the schedule. Once it has been agreed, stick to it, at least for a while. Often the children and the parents have to get used to the schedule and they have to change other daily routines to get the new routine properly organized.
Only if it does not work, change it but only for the better of the children.
When the children get used to it, the inconvenience that they experienced at the beginning will fade away.
Children, and especially the younger ones, often blame themselves for the divorce of their parents. Why this happens is not very clear. Some psychologists think it is because young children live in a small world that seems to run around them. They are at the center, so if anything goes wrong it is because of them.
Explain over and over again that they are not the reason of the divorce. Explain over and over again why you divorced.
This will help reducing the negative effect of divorce on the self confidence of the child now and in the future
Well, maybe the the friends think it is due to some bad behavior or characteristics of the divorce children.
Children at school usually do not express themselves about these emotional situations. Mostly they just assume and do not discuss it.
To most school children, the divorce of the parents of another child is just a fact. They have no other thoughts, but the divorce children think they have because for them the subject is very important. But only to themselves.
What will this do to the self confidence of the divorce children?
Yes, why not? Find out whether your divorce children still have this feeling. Talk to them. Explain. Explain again.
Be careful not to say bad things about your ex. That does no help you.
This is what you aim for, isn't it?
So take your children serious. Dedicate much time, energy, love and money to them. You will get it back and not only in a distant future.
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