Hailey is a fifteen year old from a small city named La Porte, in Indiana. She enjoys singing, dancing, writing, and spending time with her friends. Her favorite class is theatre, because is helps get her mind off of any stress she might be encountering. She wants to be a lawyer or journalist when she grows up.
When I was ten years old I was faced with the fact that my parents, who had been together for over fifteen years, were getting a divorce. Since I was used to them arguing a lot and not getting along, I got through it much better than my brother and sister. I have a great relationship with my mom, as well, so it was easy to talk to her about how I was feeling. The following three steps are the most important five steps my mother has taken over the past five years through the divorce of my parents.
Explain. Children will have questions about the divorce. Give them the clearest and most explanatory answers to their questions possible. Sometimes they may not react very well to your answers. That may be a sign that your answer was not to the question they asked. If they want to know why you are getting divorced, like my mother did, explain thoroughly why. A simple, “We fought too much.” is not a good enough explanation. Tell them your side of the story and the other side of the story as well. Instead of saying, “We fought too much.” explain deeper why you fought too much and why that caused the two of you to agree on a divorce.
Talk. Children may have very mixed emotions about the subject. If you notice them putting off their favorite hobbies, sports, activities, or friendships, it may be a sign that they need someone to talk to. If talking to their parents is not helping them, a personal or family counselor may help as well.
Listen. Sometimes children may just want to talk to you about how they feel. It may not be about the divorce, either. Your child may be afraid of losing his or her relationship with one or both of their parents. He or she may find it necessary to talk to you more about their personal life as to make sure that connection between the two of you is still there. Having a heart to heart with your children helps a lot many times.
While I did lost touch with my father, I still have a very strong relationship with my mother. If it weren’t for these three valuable tips I may have not gotten through the divorce. By following these tips, your children as well as yourself may find it easier to get through this hardship many people encounter.
Photo credit: o5com