Divorce impacts children in more ways than one and often it can be long lasting, subtle and even influence the view of the children when they think of their marriage in the later years of their lives. Seeing the disintegration of love between parents, making back and forth trips between two households, the absence of one parent on a daily basis and “outsiders” entering their lives can all cause significant reset and upset in the lives of children.
The unfortunate part of most divorces is that people shy away from professional help and by the time they make up their mind, it is too late even to make an effort to fix things up and is indeed a sad part. Even in instances when a separation is handled with care, re-partnering inevitably introduces new challenges. When families can anticipate these pain points early on and seek professional counselling, they are giving themselves a chance apart from saving their children from potential mental stress and its later consequences.
Three Seas Psychology Group is one of the major counselling services providor in Australia. Psychologists their suggests that re-partnering is not one of the easiest options, particularly when children are involved. When a divorce becomes the inevitable option, taking care of the following issues will help the children to a great extent.
- Let your children know in advance of an impending divorce/separation. The chances are that the children will feel very bad about it and wonder what would happen to them. But then it has to be told one day, so why not several days ahead.
- Reassure the children that they did not cause the break-up
- Keep your bickering away from the children
- Avoid making a contemptuous statement about the partner who is absent when the children are around.
- Never use the children to spy on your partner even to transfer messages
- Do not encourage children to choose or take sides
- Avoid abrupt changes to the routine of the kids such as moving school or home. If children can continue in the same home and school, the shock of a divorce/separation can be less on them. But, when this is not feasible, let them know why and what is in store.
Apart from how a separation or divorce impacts the minds of children, there is also the question of custody of children. Remember that obtaining custody through court or mutual consent is not an end in itself. It might temporarily assuage the couple but the long term impact of one or more children having to keep away from their siblings, possible lack of communication between them and the divorced couple trying to blame each other for the conduct of the children etc. are very common.
Role of counselling
When causes or perceived causes for a separation/divorce start settling into the minds of partners, the best solution will be approaching a competent professional separation counsellor. After all, in most situations, it takes months or perhaps years of small bickering before partners begin thinking of a separation. The time lag between the first day the thought germinates in one partner and the actual date of separation is the worst enemy in a marital relationship. The shorter that gap, the greater are your chances of catching up to lead a beautiful life all over again.