Raising children of divorce demands a lot of patience, time and understanding from parents.
There are loads of things children of divorce need and don’t need when going through divorce but I’ll talk about the three main ones.
If parents are able to follow just these three then it’s very likely that all else will fall into place and hence any chances of long or short term negative effects of divorce on children maybe reduced.
They are not easy to follow and neither is raising children while going through the divorce process but we need to do what we can to make sure that our children’s divorce experience isn’t one that will stay with them for the rest of their lives but one that they will be able to live through and remember it as something that happened not as something that is still going on in their adult lives.
When raising children of divorce they need to be excluded from all adult matters.
A dear friend of mine who works as a nurse in a primary school sees, first hand, the effects of divorce on children both in their behaviour and academic performance.
She has told the story of a boy who once spent most of the day in her office in tears and in self-isolation, as he waited to hear from his parents as to whether he was going to live with his mother or father. He was only 7 years old and knew the ins and outs of the divorce process and all of the legal goings on between the parents.
Another mum explained how she was surprised when her daughter asked if “daddy had paid the money,” because she wanted.
These are just some examples of children being involved in adult matters. Thing is children, especially the younger ones, don’t have the maturity or capability of dealing with your divorce issues as you would like them to.
Your children, whatever age, don’t need to become your supporter, your carer. They also don’t need to become your adviser nor worry about you at all.
What they need is the complete opposite of that. They need you to be their supporter, their carer and advisor. They need you to become the container of their worries, anxieties and feelings of confusion because if you don’t provide them with containment then they will go all over the place.
So be the adult in their life and allow them the space to continue being children by simply not involving them in adult matters.