The 5 basic things children expect from their divorced parents

The 5 basic things children expect from their divorced parents

Relationships have changed in nature recently, but perceptions of them have changed even more. In the past, divorce was something unbelievable, whereas nowadays it’s a common thing. In Slovakia, these days, approximately one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Divorce is never a nice experience, but it is obviously made worse when a couple has a child. In this case, it is important to make sure the child in question doesn’t suffer.

First of all, one should note that the way in which spouses break up is very important. While sometimes it is more of a “friendly agreement” where partners agree that divorce is the best solution for both, other times the decision to end the relationship is made by only one half. This can lead to a lot of inconvenience and conflict.

In these cases, parents often get so absorbed by their own problems that they forget how much a child can suffer from the situation. It is of course crucial to keep in mind that even if a kid doesn’t express it clearly at the time, suppressing these emotions can lead to serious problems in adulthood.

So let's take a look at how we can prevent issues. What are the 5 basic things a child expects from their parents after a divorce? 

#1 Affirming the fact that they are not guilty

Family counsellor Saakshi Singla told the Times Of India that especially older children may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Of course, it is obvious to most adults that divorce is never the child’s fault, and for that reason perhaps it would never occur to us that such a thought might be what is bothering them. That’s why the best thing you can do is talk to your child calmly (ideally while both parents are present). Explain to them clearly that what is happening is not their fault and that there is no reason for them to feel guilty. 

#2 A child wants both parents

The situation that breaks up a relationship can be anything. A relationship specialist, Ann Papayoti, warns that as long as neither parent has hurt a child in any way, their natural instinct is to want to keep in touch with both parents. Even if you break up with your partner in a bad way, never try to prevent your child from seeing them. This only fuels resentment, and can lead to the child feeling that they have in fact lost both parents due to their divorce, despite the fact that both parents may want and need them the same way they did before.

#3 They don’t want to be a “messenger” between you two

No child has the training, nor has ever desperately wished to become a “mediator” between their parents. No matter how tense your relationship situation is, always make sure your child isn’t the one feeling the brunt of it. If your conflict passes through them, it can have a very significant effect on the child’s perception of relationships in the future. In addition, one should bear in mind that a child does not yet fully understand what is happening and does not consider the leaving parent to be “bad”. It is important to accept and come to terms with this fact early in order to avoid issues later. 

#4 Your child needs you to move on

No matter what the reason for the divorce may have been, if your child sees you suffering, they will be left feeling frustrated themselves. Moving on can be a big challenge, but you must try to do it, at least for your child. After the divorce they will of course need you more than ever, and you will be the first person they come to in seeking support.

#5 Routine helps in feeling safe and secure

As Saakshi Singla confirms in her article, these situations often require the creation of a morning or evening routine. This will give your child a sense of security and they will know that they can rely on these activities - giving them an atmosphere of familiarity and safety even in times of uncertainty. If your child is small, you can create such a ritual, for example, by instituting the reading of fairy tales every night. You can find these in our Readmio app. By doing so, you will make it clear that the evenings are a pleasant time to be spent with your child, and when you can also come up with other fu ideas for the following day together.

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