When we end a relationship, we often perceive it as a failure in our life.
But if you have children with the person you are going to separate from, everything is much more complicated and we face many doubts on how to handle the separation process.
Will the divorce affect my children?
The answer is simple: yes, it will affect our children, it will hurt them. You have to because it’s an undesirable and sad situation for everyone, but we can soften the blow it means for them and it’s a situation they will overcome and teach them that sometimes relationships don’t work and may end cordially.
It is fundamental learning for their future relationships. Often there are couples who do not separate because they do not harm their children; however, they argue, shout and have no cordial relationship. This model of relationship that we pass on to them is much worse than separation. Sometimes we think they don’t find out because we don’t discuss things in front of them. But the reality is that they perceive that something is wrong and they suffer the same way.
What can we do for the well-being of our children?
The good news is that the situation is not good for any family member we can adopt a series of behaviors to promote the well-being of our children. They are the following:
- Try to have a friendly relationship with your ex-partner as much as possible, at least cordially.
- Try not to subject your children to many different changes as a result of a divorce. The ideal is to keep them in the same house and in the same school.
- Avoid arguments and fights in front of them. This is the most important aspect of how children adapt to the new situation of living apart.
- It is very important that discipline be constant in the homes of mom and dad. That is, both parents have similar rules and methods. We are parents together, not in parallel. We are no longer a couple, but we must remain a team.
- Do not use our children as messengers or spies. We are adults and if we want to talk or ask for something, we have to do it ourselves.
- Don’t talk negatively to yourself in front of the children. Remember that the other person is your child’s parent.
Talk openly with them about the absence of a parent (who is not present at the time). The other person has not disappeared, lives in another house, but is still part of our lives.
- One must remain alert to any situation that has not happened before, such as: showing more irritable or aggressive behavior, change in performance at school/institute, changes in sleep and appetite, re-wetting the bed when he was no longer doing so, physical complaints (sickness, headaches, stomach aches).
What does my child need during the separation?
Keep them in mind needs that must be met during the divorce process and in the new stage that begins.
- To be able to love his father and his mother without guilt, pressure or rejection. Without making them feel disloyal, the more love they get, the better.
- Daily stability, ie a normal routine every day of the week, no alternation of rules and changes.
- You just need to be more discriminating in helping others. The visits belong to them, they are their right, not that of their parents.
- You don’t have to blame it or take sides.
- You don’t have to make adult decisions, you don’t.
- You must continue to occupy the place that belongs to you as a child or adolescent, and not become a parent and/or exercise your functions, nor be the friend or companion of an adult, nor of course be a comforter.
- You can’t choose who you live with. This decision is up to the adults. Having to make that decision will always hurt someone. They cannot choose.
- They need us to create an atmosphere of affection and security for them.