The Intricacies of Explaining Divorce to Your Children in a Language They Would Understand

The Intricacies of Explaining Divorce to Your Children in a Language They Would Understand

The Experienced Family Law Attorney in Virginia Beach, VA Offers Mediation Services Protecting Divorce Affected Children   

Jenny’s joyful world was falling apart faster than she could piece the remnants back, and it appeared there was no explanation why things were going from bad to worse. She worried incessantly why her dad moved away, and if she was in some way responsible for his decision. Was there something bad she did that motivated her parents to break their relationship and fight a divorce and custody battle? Would dad return, doesn’t he love me anymore? Mom was always crying or distracted by Jenny’s baby brother, and she seemed to be perpetually bad mouthing dad or finding fault with Jenny’s silliest actions. Nobody seemed to care about Jenny and her problems.

Divorce, with the shattering impact of a typhoon, had devastated Jenny’s family, distancing her from parents she loved dearly. An increasingly bewildered Jenny fervently prayed divine intervention would sort things out. This is the kind of scenario being replayed ad nauseum in modern society, leaving good people, innocent children, hardworking families and concerned community members shell shocked when they should be helping kids cope with divorce. Children are the worst affected, combating feelings of guilt, isolation and helplessness, and the tragedy unfolding is that there are divorcing parents that know next to nothing about how to talk to children about divorce.

The Experienced family law attorney in Virginia Beach, VA opines that divorce may close a few doors but parents need to understand divorce and how it affects a child, and they need to open windows of opportunity, walking the distance with their loved ones to ensure that children regain their confidence and self-assurance. Parents ought to be doing their best helping kids through divorce.

The pertinent questions are, how does one go about reorienting children like Jenny, how to discuss divorce with your child, how to help a child deal with divorce, and how do you guide them to face the inevitable?

If children of divorced parents vocalized how the situation ought to be explained to them, getting through divorce could sound something like this:

  • Be kind to me, talk to me soothingly, call me lovingly because that make me feel that I am still loved and needed.
  • Please don’t explain why you are fighting because whenever you argue, I feel somehow responsible for it, and that makes me insecure and fearful.
  • Do not speak ill of dad (or mom) no matter what he (she) did, because I have too much love for you, and I need to spend time with both of you. By being jealous or spiteful, you push me to take sides, and that prevents me from reaching out to you.
  • Please communicate openly and directly, assuring me that you are not hiding anything, and you are not using me as a pawn or as a dashboard for bouncing messages, because you make me lose my respect for you.
  • Remember to say nice things and recollect the good times we enjoyed together. If you intend to say nasty or unpleasant things, they are better left unsaid because they make me nervous and unsure how I should react.

The Experienced family law attorney in Virginia Beach, VA understands that explaining divorce to your children, at a level commensurate with their maturity, is the key to healthier relations

The child need to be told unambiguously that she is not the cause of her parent’s separation

In the heat of an argument on child custody issues, the kid’s name could figure many times, and this could anchor feelings of guilt, besides a dreadful sense of the child being responsible for the mayhem. Parents that understand the impact of divorce on children need to reassure children continuously that they love them, and that they are not separating from their partner because of them.

As parents fully aware of what divorce does to a child, we have to demonstrate love with hugs and kisses, and a loving hand over little shoulders. Smiles, rewarding gestures and genuine appreciation help in removing misunderstandings, instilling a sense of safety and security in battered minds. The three simple words, “We love you” can work wonders in soothing anxiety. It is important to engage the child directly, explaining for example the implications of the father’s visitation rights.

The parent must resist the temptation to antagonize the child towards the partner, however bad he or she might have been, and the child is reassured that the parent that moved away is good at heart and loves the child. For children going through divorce it is more important to adjust to the changed circumstances than to apportion blame on a parent for his situation. Making a sincere attempt how to help a child deal with divorce must take into account the simple fact that the child hasn’t developed the maturity to understand the intricacies of parental incompatibility.

Children cannot become battering rams for taking revenge on a partner, and we shouldn’t wring them emotionally to gain their favor

An essential lesson on how to prepare your child for divorce comes from understanding the truth that children should never become pawns in an elaborate chess game, with each parent vying with the other to impart advice, offer cash or gifts, sponsor trips and generally disparage the other partner in the battle to gain control over little minds and ensure their loyalty. Parents may outdo each other in making each visitation the most memorable occasion in the child’s life, leaving the child struggling with feelings of guilt. Parents need to talk to children carefully, ensuring that they cultivate healthy feelings of mutual respect and adoration for all members of the once united family.

The period following the divorce needs to be carefully punctuated with discipline and forbearance

Many households simply fall apart following a divorce because the emotional wounds run deep. This is the time to keep a lid on rising emotions and intemperate language. It is the moment to take time off from work and devote more time to the children, being by their side, calming troubled minds.

Be cautious in burdening elder children with responsibilities that they may not be capable of fulfilling in the absence of the regular parent. Keeping in mind the impact of divorce on children, ensure that the child follows its normal schooling schedule, and doesn’t spend too much time brooding or feeling lonely.

Giving minor leadership responsibilities in and around the house makes children feel they are in control. When you decide on telling your child about divorce, talk directly and sincerely, explaining why the parent cannot come back into their lives (avoiding the messy details), and make children appreciate how important it is that they get their lives back on track through their own efforts.

Avoid projecting a negative picture of your spouse in front of the children, no matter how problematic the partner may have been

The partner might have abrogated his or her responsibilities to the hilt, but when it comes to explaining that to a child it is better to err on the side of caution. The moment that a child senses he has an unworthy parent, he loses his self-esteem. The child may feel he is no better than his delinquent parent. In such situations when the subject is broached, be acutely aware how to talk to child about divorce, saying something non-committal like, “Jenny, we don’t know why bad things sometimes happen to nice people. Your father is a loving and compassionate person, and he always has your interests uppermost in mind,” or something similar without touching the root problem. It leaves the child ruminating over positive thoughts. There will be fewer scars and children will cherish you more.
If you happen to be a parent struggling in the throes of divorce, Divorce and Separation Lawyers, Virginia, VA provide prompt and effective legal assistance, acting as your family law facilitator. Their law office provides significant child custody mediation inputs backed by realistically flexible hours at affordable costs.

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