Divorce can be traumatic, distressing and nerve-racking experience for anyone, and kids especially are the ones who are most affected by the divorce of their parents. It is important for divorced parents to understand that even if their marriage has ended, their family hasn’t and kids shouldn’t be the ones who suffer most. Kids are torn between their parents as they have to choose one parent over the other. This can be really confusing for children as they love both the parents equally and want both of them.
Divorced parents are always filled up with guilt and are worried and confused about what to expect for their kids and how to give their children the right support through the divorce process. Kids usually hold themselves responsible for their parents’ separation and feel the guilt throughout their lives. They may also feel abandoned and may have the feeling that their parents do not want them anymore. This breaks down their self-esteem and confidence and hinders their normal emotional growth as compared to kids belonging to normal families.
Divorced parents need to keep their emotions under check for their ex-partners especially in the front of kids. Try not to bicker around about your ex-husband or wife in front of your children. Do not treat them as pawns or as a way to harass your ex by not letting them meet the kids. Mothers shouldn’t try to limit the time children spend with their fathers since this can be detrimental to their mental health; in fact be supportive and try to be amicable with your ex however whatsoever you feel.
Co-Parenting is a newly emerging concept and is best for divorced or separated couples. Divorced parents may seek to maintain equivalent responsibility for the child’s nurture and upbringing. It is usually a practice that following a divorce, the child remains in the custody of one parent and in majority of cases it’s the mother who bears the responsibility. But this has recently been challenged by the fathers who want to live near their kids and want to be a part of their growing up process. This has resulted in co-parenting so that even after divorce, both the parents can contribute to the development of child and kids continue to receive care and love from both the parent.
It is a must for divorced parents to help kids adjust to the painful process by keeping patience and a good listening ear so that the children learn to cope up. Especially for fathers, if they are moving out of the homes, they must remain involved in kids’ routine life – talk to them daily either on phone or personally, take them for outings, be there at the time of doctors’ appointments, participate in Parent teacher Meets, join their kids when they are taking part in co-curricular activities in school, show interest in their academics and social life and make the kids feel that they are available for them at any time of the day as they were before.
Divorced parents must keep in mind that their cumulative aim is the welfare of the child and even if they have separated it must not affect the normal upbringing of the child. They must remain involved in the children’s life as they had been before the divorce.