Separated Parents: How to Help Your Child Cope
When parents are separated, probably one of the people hurt most by it are children. They have to learn to deal with their parents being separated. They may begin to ask questions or have concerns about never seeing the other parent. In this article we discuss how to help your child cope with separation.
Spend Time with Them
A child can feel as if their parents separated because of something they did. Spend as much time as possible with your children. Assure them that they’re the ones who come first in your life and that it will never change. Talk with the other parent of your child to see if they can spend more time with them as well. Try small overnight visits or outings your child can have with the other parent. This way your child will adjust easier to the separation knowing both their parents are always available to them.
Another way to help your child cope when parents separate is to keep the lines of communication open. You can do this by having the opposite parent call your child every couple of days. With today’s social media it’s extremely easy to stay in touch. Facebook, skype, texting, and there are many other ways for them to stay in touch with the other parent. If your child is concerned show them the many options available to them to stay in touch with the other parent. If you’re concerned about how it’s supposed to go, make sure to clear it with the other parent first. Discuss what options are best for everyone involved. What works best for both parent and child? It can be unfamiliar territory when doing this, but be patient. Making sure everyone is heard during this difficult time is one of the best ways to help your child cope.
Discuss What Stays the Same, and What Has Changed
Another thing to do is to discuss with your child what is changing in their life and what is staying the same. During this time they’ll be very uneasy about what is going on around them. While there will be many adjustments in their lives let them know a lot will also stay the same. Also let them know that no matter what some things, like the love from both parents, will still be the same for your child.
Separation can be hard for everyone. Your child will probably have a hard time adjusting to it no matter what you do. Just stand by their side and let them know you’re there if they need you. Children are very sensitive to what goes on around them. They may feel the need to blame themselves or the other parent about what has happened. Be sure to make clear the reason why you and your partner separated. While also letting your child know that it doesn’t mean they have to choose between you or the other parent. Be patient with them and answer any questions they may have.