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Now That Your Marriage Is Over, How Do You Help The Kids Cope?

Updated on January 3, 2010

Witnessing the divorce of my parents at an fairly early age (my parents divorced when I was ten), I can unanimously say that divorce is an extremely painful process. While the experts voice different opinions concerning the effect divorce has on children, speaking from personal experience, divorce shatters the lives of many youngsters - regardless of their ages.

Through no fault of their own, children may find themselves thrust in a whirlwind of emotions. Confusion and shock over what has taken place; pain from watching their parents separate; and fear of losing everything and everyone that once represented stability in their lives.

So what then, can parents do to help their children successfully cope with the repercussions of a divorce?

* Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Let your child know what is going on. If the situation allows it, both parents should sit down and inform their child/children that their decision to divorce is final. In addition, both parents should reassure their children that they are still loved, and that the divorce is not their (children's) fault.

* Get Over It Already!

Some divorced parents stay caught up in one skirmish after another. So much so, that one expert described these parents as, "legally divorced but still emotionally betrothed combatants who have not been able to negotiate a truce with peace."

Who gets caught up in the mix? The children of course. Therefore, for the sake of your children - get over it already!

* Let Your Child Confide In You.

Some children may reason that 'if my parents stopped loving each other, then they may stop loving me.' To alleviate such fears, let your child confide in you. Take every opportunity to encourage meaningful communication. Provide them with an ample amount of emotional support.

* Encourage A Healthy Relationship Between Your Child And Your Ex.

The book Teens In Turmoil - A Path to Change for Parents, Adolescents, and Their Families stated: "If parents choose to use their children as artillery on the direct battlefield, they must expect to reap what they have sown."

Unfortunately, some parents will either bad mouth their ex to or in front of their children, or they will use them to spy on their ex's life. It's far better however, to encourage a healthy relationship between your child and your ex.

* Take Care Of You.

There's no doubt that divorce is hard on the parents as well. Therefore, take care of yourself by maintaining a balanced and healthy routine. If necessary, join a support group; keep a journal; take up a hobby. Doing so will help your child maintain mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional balance as well.

'Divorce is war,' many counselors are saying. 'Neither party walks away without wounds; nor do the children.' Nevertheless, with patience, perseverance, and unconditional love, parents can be successful at helping their children cope.

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    • Veronica Allen profile image
      Author

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      I agree 100% My mother was the same way. We never heard a bad thing about my absentee father fall from her lips. She's the same way today!

    • Haute Coco profile image

      Haute Coco 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Growing up without a father, my mother never had anything bad to say about him. She never complained about how bad the marriage was. As an adult, I have come to use the same principles when dealing with my husband and daughter. Communication is the key.

    • Veronica Allen profile image
      Author

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart soni2006 for your sincere complement. It has always been my goal to inspire and encourage others. Your words mean a lot to me. Question - how does my name resemble your daughter's name (which happens to be such a lovely one)?

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Here is my hub relating to your hub . Parenting and Child Care - Single Parenting

      https://hubpages.com/family/Parenting-and-Child-Ca...

      I think we have a lot in common.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is an excellent underrated hub. I am wondering why I did not find this info anywhere else. Thanks for sharing Veronica. You are writing out some really great hubs these days and you joined just six weeks ago. I think these are marvelous when I compare them with other hubbers. I think if you will keep on posting hubs like these, the day is not very far away when you will reach 100 score on hubpages and your profile listed on the home page of hubpages. Best of luck Veronica. Keep it up. One more thing to say, your name resembles to my daughter's name. Her name is Shronika Soni.