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Should Divorce mean Detriment, Damage, & Destruction: How to ensure your divorce or separation causes the least damage to your child, or children, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 17 Feb, 2016 in Mental Health | 0 comments

Should Divorce mean Detriment, Damage, & Destruction: How to ensure your divorce or separation causes the least damage to your child, or children, By Jane McNeice

When a couple decides to separate or divorce the effects on the children are often determined by how effective, or ineffective, the parents are in supporting and managing the transition.

So why when most parents love their children should it be that, all too often, the process is ineffective and children are left feeling confused, hurt, responsible, and many other negative emotions?

At the point when parent’s separate or divorce, they are often going through a particularly difficult time themselves. They too may be hurt, confused, and coming to terms with the new or forthcoming changes. Their own coping mechanisms may not necessarily be positive, resulting in unhealthy reactions and behaviours that don’t facilitate the best for their children. Most parents won’t intentionally cause hurt or emotional harm to their children, but they may inadvertently do this because of what they are going through.

When supporting your child, or children, through separation and divorce here are some useful points to consider:

  • Are you managing your own health and emotional wellbeing effectively? Failure to look after your own wellbeing can lead to unhealthy behaviours that consequently affect others in a negative way. It is essential to seek help for yourself at the earliest opportunity e.g. talking to a therapist, or other professional who may be able to assist.
  • Listen It is essential that your children are listened to and feel heard. This is also an opportunity to check understanding and clear up any misunderstandings your child, or children, may have.
  • Be honest Children, like anyone, need to feel able to trust those around them. In particular they need to trust the significant adults in their lives – in most cases this is the parents. It is also important that parents consider what discussions are age appropriate for their child, or children.
  • Remind your child, or children, they are loved Children need to feel safe, secure, and loved in any situation, in particular when they are going through a potentially difficult change.
  • Expression Children may not be able to express how they feel very easily. Consider opportunities and ways for your child, or children, to express how they feel. This may be through talking about how they feel, moods, or by using other communication media such as pictures.
  • Seek help Remember there is often a wide team of support around you and your children e.g. schools, nurseries, GP’s, community organisations, health practitioners, relatives, and friends. Seek support from others, and ensure those who need to be aware know about the changes that your child, or children, is experiencing.

There are a number of professional organisations that can help and support during separation or divorce. In particular we recommend

Further emotional support for both adults and children can be accessed from our Get Support Now page

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