Children & Divorce – Your Children’s Perspective on Divorce:
Wouldn’t it be beneficial to look through “the eyes of YOUR child.” This helps to give the parent some perspective about how the child is interpreting or absorbing the change.
Believe me Young children do feel the changes that are going on in their environment. They are aware of the changes that are taking place between their parents and how their reaction to each other.
They also see how these changes are affecting their own lifestyle. They are disturbed by not being able to be with both parents on a daily basis. They often are dissatisfied with shared custody or parenting times (visitation) schedules and are insecure in their environment.
Children are honest about what they see and experience, and they are able to describe how they perceive what is going on around them. Initially, children do wish that their parents were still together, but as time goes by, they will accept divorce as the right decision. They recognize that they are happier and healthier in a tension free environment.
Here are a few common things that children may say:
“No one could make all of this go away.”
“Why doesn’t my mommy want to be here with all of us?”
“I don’t understand why I go to my daddy’s on the weekends.”
“I can’t remember ever seeing my parents together. ”
“I remember always feeling as though it was all my fault, and I would cry myself to sleep a lot.”
“‘I think they still hate each other. ”
“My parents have always been fair with me. Even though they were divorced, they were both ” always there for me. I love them for that. ”
I have grown up to be a very secure person. Both of my parents have always been there for me, and they both made time to talk to me together if that is what I need. “How To” Tips for Divorcing Parents
Divorce is never easy on kids, but there are many ways parents can lessen the impact of their break-up on their children:
1. Never disparage your former spouse in front of your children by word, body, or facial expression.
2. Never use your children as messengers between you and your former spouse. The less the children feel a part of the battle between their parents, the better.
3. Reassure your children that they are loved and that the divorce is not their fault. Many children assume that they are to blame for their parents’ hostility.
4. Encourage your children to see your former spouse frequently. Do everything within your power to accommodate the parenting time.
5. When you see your former spouse in the presence of our children, speak and act
kindly, respectfully, and graciously.
6. Your children may be tempted to act as your caretaker. Resist the temptation to let them do so. Let your peers, adult family members, and mental health professionals be your counselors and sounding board. Let your children be children.
7. Make attempts to agree with your former spouse on issues of conflict pertaining to the children and when necessary, obtain outside help.
9. If you are the custodial parent and you are not receiving child support, do not tell your children. It feeds into the child’s sense of abandonment and further erodes his or her stability. If you are the non-custodial parent, pay your child support.
10. If at all possible, do not uproot your children. Stability in their residence and school life helps buffer children from the trauma of their parents’ divorce.
11. Make every effort to cooperate, share and support your former spouse as the other parent and treat your co-parenting relationship like a “business” one rather than an emotionally charged or intimate one. If your former spouse and you are not able to cooperate actively as parents to your children, agree to develop a “parallel parenting” plan that will delineate very clear, separate, but active roles in responsibility.