A divorce or a separation agreement between the parents, not only brings sadness, worries and loneliness in the parent’s life, but it is also a big source of trouble for the children. It is reflected in their behaviour and they tend to show it too often by getting outrageous. Studies have shown that the children of the parents who are happily married, have a more stable, settled and easy going life and behaviour. Efforts have to be made by both the separated parents to make sure that their separation is not causing trouble to their children. Lot of love, care and patience is required for that.
Children often show the effect of the parent’s divorce or separation on them in either one or more of the following ways-
Anger- Children may get angry and display violent behaviour even at the smallest things, when something is troubling them inside.
Negativity in the behaviour– They may show their resentment by responding to things negatively or by choosing not to respond at all.
Loneliness-They may choose to stay away from their parents and the entire process of separation, without expressing themselves much.
Depression– the child may slowly slide away into depression with the anxiety of parent’s separation.
If your child does not come out of the minor depression caused by your separation even after several months, then you need to look for the warning signals:
Loss of appetite
Lack of concentration
Poor performance in class/studies
No participation in extracurricular activities
No interest in the loved ones
Staying away from friends
Not engaging in any playful activity
Showing disinterest in everything
If you see such signals, then you should consult a child therapist or a child doctor to help your child. Parents who are planning their separation need to be really careful about several things:
Never argue in front of the children.
Never discuss any issues related to your divorce agreement in front of your children.
Talk nicely to your spouse in front of the child.
Never show disrespect to your partner, even after all the differences between you both. Not at least in front of the child.
Tell your child the reality without hiding anything from him. But the details should be spilled keeping in mind the age of the child and his maturity level.
Show all the love and affection to your child that he deserves.
Reassure him of the same care and attention that he is used to.
Tell him truly, that practically things will change but everything will be done keeping his best interest in mind.
Share responsibilities even after separation and stay connected to your child.
Make such an arrangement that you get to spend time with your child.
Try to make a joint arrangement in the interest of your child so that he gets the love and time of both the parents.
Never show the negative side of the other parent to the child as it will have a wrong effect on him.
If you follow these tips, you can help your child get away with the separation anxiety soon and with less effort. Let your child know that everything will be normal soon and he will get used to the change in no time. Don’t let the feeling of depression sink in.