No one wants to experience separation, but in domestic relations this might happen. When the problem of divorce is inevitable, children will become victims. Unfortunately, not all parents are sensitive to this, ultimately affecting the mental health of the child. Yes, there is a separate way for parents to divorce to face their children.
How to deal with your child after divorce
According to Prof. Tamara Afifi (Speaker of TEDxUCSB Talk: The impact of divorce in childen ), most children will feel stressed a few moments after their parents divorced. However, this stress can occur for a long time and ‘relapse’ anytime.
After officially separating, you have a new life. Changes in this condition will affect you and the baby. Here are some tips you can do after getting a divorce to help your child recover from the pain.
1. Help your child express his emotions
Let the child show what he feels after hearing the news of his parents’ divorce. Avoid using the words “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
Because the sentence actually makes your child feel his parents do not understand the sadness he felt. It’s like, when it’s very natural if he is angry, sad, and disappointed. But you actually do not give your child the opportunity to express his sadness.
So, instead of saying that, you can invite him to talk and ask what he felt at the time. Say to him that he may cry and be angry at that time. However, at the end keep reminding him that you will always be by his side and will not leave him.
2. Give understanding if this happens not because of the little one
Without realizing it, after divorce maybe your child will wonder what is the cause of this incident. Often the thought that arises is that his parents don’t love him. Some children try to prevent this divorce by behaving well in hopes that their parents will not become separated.
However, when the reality of his attitude changes did not change anything, he turned sad, angry, and lost confidence in him. Edward Teyber, PhD, a California State University psychologist and penulus book Helping Children Cope with Divorce, revealed that parents must continually ensure that this has nothing to do with the baby. Also say that both of you will always love him.
3. Schedule time to meet with children
Children must feel the love of their parents. Arrange the time so that the child can still meet his father or mother. It would be nice if you can play together, even though this means you have to reduce the ego. If your child lives with you everyday, give your child a chance to visit his father or mother without a hitch.
Reduce the ‘drama’ of child custody in front of them. It is recommended that you release it with a smile when the child will stay or go play with his father or mother.
4. Always keep promises to meet
If the child does not live with you, try not to cancel the meeting plan with the child, especially at the beginning of the breakup. Your child will feel unwanted, if you repeatedly cancel an appointment to meet him.
When your partner does not keep his promise, do not confuse the atmosphere by bad-mouthing it. Prepare other plans that you can use to please the child.
Let your child express his disappointment. You can say, “I understand, you are disappointed. Father did not come …” and let the child respond by expressing what he was thinking. Encourage children to do activities that are preferred in order to treat their disappointment.
5. Pay attention to changes in children’s behavior
In some conditions, children try to be okay, as if there is no problem. Children can think not to burden you with feelings of sadness and disappointment.
Immersing feelings like this is certainly not good. If the child does not want to be open, deny, even though you have tried to provide a comfortable space to share, stop forcing.
However, keep an eye on changes in children’s behavior such as changes in diet , school performance that has fallen, weight, daily activities, and others. It could be a sign that the child is secretly feeling depressed and stressed
Ask for help from other family members, trusted teachers, or maybe their friends to be friends. Sometimes, he will feel comfortable sharing his feelings with others for fear of burdening you.
It’s not something that your child might not grow well even though his father and mother separated. As long as you and your child are open to each other and give positive energy, you can certainly go through these difficult times well.