My mom and dad stay involved in my life forever….I want both of you to help me solve my problems….I want a lot of love from both of you….that’s what every child long for. For kids, their parents are their world! But after divorce, all their dreams get shattered. Either directly or indirectly, they get caught up in your marital conflict. It causes long lasting effect on them. They don’t know how to react to the upcoming changes. Crying without any reason, disobeying, talking back and fighting are some of the behaviour that your kid may exhibit.
Here are five ways to be an excellent parent after divorce.
1. Break the News
“Unable to grasp, unable to feel and unable to think….what had happened to my mom and dad’s life???”
Whether your kid is small, old or teen, it’s very difficult to share the news of separation with him/her. While talking to your lil champ, don’t get angry or upset, and keep in mind the level of understanding of the kid. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions! Instead of articulating detailed reasons behind the divorce, inform them about forthcoming changes in their lives.
2. My Baby! It Was Not Your Fault
“I wanted to drive the bike my way and I told my dad to go away. He did and divorced my mom. It’s completely my fault….”
Many times, the child considers himself/herself as a reason behind the divorce of the parents. Assure your child that it’s not his/her fault, what happened was between his/her mom and dad. Periodic reassurance is very essential. Don’t forget to make the kid realize that you love him/her very much.
3. Find a Healthy Splash for Your Sentiments
“Why my mom cries while talking to my dad on phone…???”
After a divorce, it’s very difficult to move on in life, especially if you are a parent of the child. There are several moments when you would feel dismay. To cope up with these sentiments, several people get indulge in bad habits, like alcoholism, overeating, etc. It leaves a negative impact on the children. So, find a healthy splash for your feelings! Engage yourself in gratifying your hobbies. Never let your kid to know that you are distressed.
4. Let Your Kid Express His/her Feelings
“I hate this sofa. It is where my mom and dad told me that they were getting a divorce. I will throw it out….”
After divorce, your child has also got hurt as much as you are. It’s a very perplexing situation for her/him to live with one parent. Your lil one might express his/her feelings in the form of anger, disobeying, fighting, crying, etc. Rather than suppressing their feelings, tackle them with love and affection. Answer their questions honestly. If you will hold back their emotions, their stress may emerge out in some other forms- with friends, at schools, or in change to their sleep patterns, behaviour or appetite.
5. Don’t Make the Child Your Mediator
“I love you both and I don’t care with whom I live with. Please don’t make me opt…just tell me!
Don’t bring into play your child as a messenger to convey your messages to ex-spouse. Your messages may reveal your anger, frustration and grievances for the ex. Remember; children don’t want to hear ferocious remarks for their other parent. So, communicate the message yourself.
6. Work With Your Ex-Spouse
“Dad left. Will my mom leave me too? What will I do alone???”
Keep a free flow of information with your ex about your child. Never argue or use abusive language for each other in front of your child. Parental conflicts lead to behavioural and emotional difficulties in the child. So, try to be a good parent!
7.Celebrate the Special Occasions Together
“We are half a family now…holidays will never be good anymore….”
Birthday, diwali, summer vacations, etc. are some special occasions for a child on which he/she wants his/her mom and dad together. Don’t let your child down. Forget your personal conflict and unite for the sake of your kid’s happiness, at least for those few moments. Try to make important parenting decisions in unison. This will assure your child that both of the parents still care and love him/her, as before.
You are divorced now, but, don’t forget that a linking cord (your kid) is still between you! Try to understand the emotions of your child!