Inside each of us is this deep longing for “home”, for the rich, satisfying relationships and interactions of quality family life. And we must never give up says Stephen Covey the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. Our greatest joys and our deepest heartaches surround what is happening in our family life. It is said that “no mother is happier than her most unhappy child.” We want things to be right. We want to have the joy we somehow know deep inside is possible and natural and right in family life. But when we sense a gap between this vision of rich, beautiful family life we want to have and the reality of our everyday family lives, we feel off track. It’s easy to get discouraged, to feel a little hopeless—to feel that there is no way we can ever have the kind of family life we want. But there is hope, tremendous hope! The key is to remember to keep working from the inside out and keep getting back on track when we blow it.
In my practice of working with families, the most diffcult part is to break the news to kids about their parents getting separated. Also, it is a difficult task to explain to kids the reason behind this separation. It comes so hard on the child that they get under severe doubts as to how their life would be after divorce of the parents. Hard as it is, parents have to communicate with empathy, understanding and awareness.
Here are a few tools to help parents positively deal with the children’s feelings and emotions:
- Even if the divorce isn’t a joint decision, you can say “Sometimes two people are not happy together, so it’s best to separate and lead happier life’s being apart. But we love you a lot and always will no matter what. We understand it’s hard for you to deal with this situation and big feelings, we are here for you, and together we will handle this “.
- Experts agree that it’s best to have this conversation with the entire family present and then to follow up with each child separately. Parents should know that it is normal for kids to ask questions, yell, make a scene or even lock themselves in their rooms. When breaking the news the first time, parents should be prepared for the worst.
Stay as close and possible to the kid and be readily available for a hug or a kiss or just basically for mental support. Be there to hug your child when he/she seeks you out.
It’s most essential providing your kids with the neutral ground to express their feelings—without the fear of judgment or causing hurt to the involved parties.
Be open to questions. Be a good listener, practice patience and self-care as it will take time for your children to process how they feel.
Here are the four essential messages for your children:
- This is not your fault: It’s more important to reassure your children that We are not fighting about YOU.
- You as a kid are essential for the family to whatever decisions parents take will always have you in it.
- No one is to be blamed for this. The separation is happening only for the betterment. It does not make anyone a lesser parent here
- We will always love you and will stand by you in every situation and ups and downs. Parents separating will not hamper your growth years
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