Divorce From A Child's Perspective?
As a Parent you may be asking yourself “How do I talk to my kids when even I can’t work things out for myself?” or “How do I even understand how they are feeling?”
Sometimes it's hard to even engage in a conversation with your ex, let alone your children. Sadly the kids may be the last thing on your mind. It’s actually not as hard as you think, but leaving it for too long can become an even bigger issue down the track. My family was literally falling apart before my eyes and I had absolutely no say in it. Even though I was 9, I was hurt, confused and I wanted answers. Was it my fault, could I have changed things, and why is this happening? Any divorce can be messy and usually it can be from both or one parent just not coming to the party to make the ride smoother. It is very importantthat you recognise your Children are also going through this, not just you.
There are three points I recommend you do from the beginning.
“Put you feelings aside”
It is so easy to make it all about you. Fighting with your ex only defames your Child. Your Children are also feeling the pain of your Divorce if not more than you are. Children want to know that their feelings mean something to you as well as your own. Remember it is their family as well.
“Talk to your children”
Don’t shut them out, but include them. Make open conversation so that they know you are there if they need you. Children learn what they see. If you shut down, well so will they. Open the communication lines so that they can feel confident to reach out to you.
“Listen to them”
Sometimes you think you are listening to your kids, but actually, your not. Children will speak from their hearts when they know you are giving them your full attention. Don’t be afraid to show emotions in front of your kids. Children need to see that you are also feeling like they are, and this way they will know you are truly listening, they will hopefully share their honest feelings with you.
So did your divorce affect your kids?
Well for me, it was too late. I had reached my teens and knew my life was starting to spiral out of control. I was longing for my parents’ attention, but I felt it was too late. As a parent myself I now, I am very aware of what my kids see and hear and I am aware that acknowledging their feelings means a lot to them. In some ways your divorce would have affected them, but the way you handle it from here on could dramatically change that. So know that when you are struggling, so are they. Children are very forgiving and only want your attention and love. This is not rocket science. They just want you and your time. Don’t wait until it feels right just talk to them. Children will learn from how you also deal with this situation and it will also guide them with their own relationships later in life. Be the example. Every parent only wants the best for their child, so help them share their feeling with you today. It may just make you re-think how you handle things from now on. So be smart, be listening, and be present.
Karla Lee is an author and a coach. For more information go to www.voice4kids.com
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