At present, the number of couples who decide to separate with children after a long period of time together is increasing. This can have a traumatic impact on the child and may even have very negative consequences for their well-being and development.
However, a divorce or separation is not the end for the child. You can continue to have a good education and an excellent quality of life.
Here are some tips to treat children of separated parents, improve their welfare, education and ensure a better future.
1- Do not argue with your partner in front of him
If you have to talk with your partner about something related to the relationship or even the child, you should do so when the child is not in front of you. This way we will avoid discussing his presence and therefore those negative feelings that may influence him to arise.
Take advantage of those moments in which the child has left or is doing some extracurricular activity, this way you can sit down and talk more calmly.
2- Make the process somewhat normal
One of the best ways to make this process not affect your child so much is to take it as something normal and natural. Although this is difficult for us, we have to do it for him and we must give an example of maturity and right.
Combating the situation with secrets towards the family in general and the child in particular, will only hurt things and slow down the acceptance process.
3- Agree on parenting guidelines
Something that is usually done usually, is to consent to the child to awaken positive emotions that make you feel good and decide for the parent who performs these actions.
However, if we do this instead of educating it correctly, we will be doing the opposite. In the first place, we can make the child just want to be with us, that is, with the parent who pampers and pampers him and lets him do everything he wants. This can cause the child to choose a parent and just want to be with him.
In many occasions what is wanted is to do that, however, we are not realizing that the main affected is the child himself, since in the end we will make him a spoiled child, unable to comply and obey the rules imposed on him.
On the other hand, after separation and to avoid the child suffering too much, we usually fill him with gifts and excessive affection (the first option is usually fulfilled by the father’s side while the second by the mother’s side) when what he really needs is keep having some routine habits and spending time with both parents.
It would be advisable to agree on the parenting guidelines that will be followed from the moment of separation with your partner so that there is a stable environment and does not harm the mental and physical development of the child.
4- Support your child during the process
Even if you believe that you are the person who suffers the most in the divorce process, the biggest victim is your son. We have to be aware that he does not understand what is happening or why dad or mom has decided to live somewhere else.
At first, you tend to think that it was your fault. Therefore, you have to support him and explain what is happening so that he sees that he has not had anything to do and that sometimes this can happen. With this, we will prevent him from suffering more than he should and that affects him emotionally as little as possible.
5- Do not speak ill of each other
In most cases, our first idea, whether conscious or unconscious, is to start talking badly about our ex-partner in front of the child or even him. This action is not recommended either for the child or for the parent who performs it.
We have to face the decision that has been taken with our partner with maturity and serenity. Even though the ways of both have separated, it is still the father and mother of a child in common who does not understand what is happening and who do not know why your attitude and life, in general, have changed.
Although your life as a couple has not worked, you still exercise your role as parents, so you have to live up to the circumstance and not get into speaking badly of each other. Once again, you have to look for your son and his welfare.
6- Do not put the child in the middle of discussions
Many couples argue for the child as if it were a war. This also affects you negatively and will increase your frustration, as you will not understand what is happening. The child is not an object for which you can fight or with which you must threaten your partner, much less if he is in front of him.
The child is of the two and as such, although you are no longer a couple, you are still parents equally and have a responsibility to him. So you should try to avoid this type of action to reduce the level of anxiety not only your child but also the family in general.
7- Help him express his feelings
Due to the negative situation that is going through, maybe the child because of his age is not able to express his feelings and emotions without help. Therefore, both the family in general and parents, in particular, should help and facilitate this process.
Sit in a safe environment for the child and in which he feels good to talk about what is happening to him and how he feels using type questions: How do you feel today? What have you done during the day? Can you help him express himself? or at least to start doing it.
Although everything will depend on the child’s temperament and personality, they usually need help expressing their feelings. As parents and relatives, your duty is to keep nothing that you think or feel as it may affect you in the future and condition you for your whole life.
8- Get help
If your child is not able to internalize what is happening or to react to those events and you have tried by all means you had at your disposal to understand that mom and dad are no longer together, maybe you should consider getting the help of a professional.
It is not advisable for the child to be in a state of shock or denial for a long time in the current situation, nor would it be normal for him not to give much importance to what happened. Both ways can be a defense response to a hard or traumatic situation.
The experts will be able to help your child and they will be able to provide you with guidelines with which you can work with this type of answers. On the other hand, also if you see it necessary, you can find the support you need to face this process.
9- Synchronize with your child
On many occasions, we think that hiding the divorce process will be better than if we told it from the start. However, if we do this we are making a big mistake because it will affect you more sharply and it will be harder to understand why.
Therefore, it is advisable that there are no secrets of this type in the family and go little by little explaining why it has happened. This will help the child to digest the process in another way and reduce the consequences of it.
10- Recognize the symptoms of stress
Because they do not understand what is happening and most of the time we do not usually explain it because we are focused on our suffering, children come to feel high levels of stress.
Therefore, we must be aware of this fact and be able to identify these symptoms in order to calm and alleviate it as soon as possible. Follow the advice of those we have been talking about previously, as well as the ones that we continue to explain, can also help you reduce the possible stress that your child may suffer due to separation.
11- Have some routine habits
Another action that will make the child assimilate the divorce process as soon as possible, will be to return to their usual routine habits. Therefore, both parents must agree as soon as possible on the activities that the child should do with each one.
In the case that each parent lives in a different house, the recommendation will be the same. The sooner you start implant unbreakable routine habits before the child will be in a stable and safe environment that will make your bad behavior (if you have it) improve.
12- Have patience
The patients in these cases on the part of the parents and the family is indispensable. The child can be very upset and not have the usual behavior and may even disobey rules that previously accepted without problems.
Both the stress, denial or being continually waiting and asking for the parent who has left the family home, are together with the previously mentioned answers that your child can give to the incomprehensible situation that is living.
Therefore, shouting or reprimanding him continuously for everything he does can alter him even more. It would be advisable to have more patience than usual and try to understand that he is also going through a bad time.
13- Do not substitute your presence with gifts
An error that is usually committed with abundance is to fill the child with gifts in the form of love and substitution for our presence. As we have mentioned before, in many occasions we do it because we feel guilty for “having abandoned it” and in others, all we want is for the child to choose us instead of our partner.
Although we have failed as a couple, let us not forget that we are still fulfilling the role of fathers and mothers and that as such, our goal must be that and with more. So if you really want your child you will know that what he needs from you is not that you buy him toys but you spend time with him that’s what he really needs from you.
14- Avoid using your son as a messenger
If we have broken with our partner we have to accept it and internalize it. It is true that if you have a child at the beginning it can be very painful to see your ex-partner every time you want to be with him.
However, you have to take it right and not use your son as a messenger to insult your ex-partner or tell him how badly he treats him etc. We have to try to avoid the typical slogans of: “Mom says she does not like that …” or “Dad says you are …”.
Even if it is small, the child is able to understand what is happening, so if we have to talk about something with our partner or we want to let him know that he has carried out some action that has seemed wrong, we should let him know for ourselves and not for other media.
15- Adjust to the times of visit
One way to avoid conflicts with our partner is to stick to the visiting hours and the hours that correspond to us. If we have a friendly relationship and always with your consent, we can stay with our child for longer.
16- Dedicate time to your son
Dedicating time to your child is a good way to deal with the pain of separation. This simple gesture will help you to overcome it more quickly and will have very positive benefits for him as well since what he needs most in those moments is to continue feeling that even if there have been small changes, he can continue counting on his two parents.
Therefore, doing sports and recreational activities can be one of the best therapies, always with one or both parents in case the separation has been friendly.
17- Do not make your son have to choose
A very traumatic situation for a child is having to choose between his father and his mother. Normally, custody is finally obtained by the mother, unless the mother is not able to adequately cover the needs of the minor.
When it grows, if it is true that you can choose who you want to stay with, since it is considered that you understand what has happened. It is advisable to avoid the child having to be in that position and take the situation as naturally as possible, respecting the schedule and maintaining frequent contact between both parents.
18- Create security
After separation, the child may feel lost in the family and misunderstand. Therefore, the figure that has been left with its custody will be responsible for providing a safe environment able to calm their feelings of discomfort and insecurity.
The advisable thing to get the child to feel safe is to have some guidelines for parenting and rules and rules in the two homes in which he will spend most of the time, these should be maintained to give him the stability he needs.
19- Maintain a sociable and friendly relationship with your ex-spouse
That your child constantly witnesses that you are arguing with your ex-partner in front of him or anywhere for anything is not highly recommended or helpful to anyone. The ideal to minimize the possible negative consequences of divorce in the child and in yourself would be that you try to maintain a moderately cordial relationship after separation.
To get it you have to start by eliminating the discussions and laying the foundation in the relationship that as parents of your child you will have from now on, mutual respect and good communication, among others.
20- Do not use your son as a spy for your ex-partner
Asking your child about what he has done when he has been with your ex-partner can be understood as normal, since your obligation as a parent and as a mother is to be informed of the activities he develops when he is with the other parent.
On the contrary, specifically ask your child about the activities that your ex-partner does individually in their free time and with whom, it is not. Your child does not have to act as a spy or detective, this fact will only bring negative consequences for the family in general.
21- Desculpabilizar to your son after the separation
Whether the separation process has been hidden from him or not, the child will feel guilty that his parents are no longer together.
Our duty as family and parents of the child is to explain what happened in a way that understands that this kind of things can happen and that he has not had anything to do. For this, we have to be the first to take this situation as normal and accept it as it is.
22- Be affectionate with your son
One of the best ways for you to understand that you have not been guilty of separating from your parents is affection. Both family members and parents must show their affection in order to avoid feeling bad or even falling into depression.
We have to point out that buying gifts excessively is not a sign of affection and that this action will only bring negative consequences for him. The ideal would be to be more attentive than normal and show more what we feel for him in a moderate way.
23- Facilitates contact with the family of the other parent
When parents are separated they tend to try by all means that the child has contact with the family of the other parent and even with the parent himself
Once again we have to emphasize that this is not good for anyone and that the main victim is the least. He has the right to continue having a family and to have contact with each of the members that form it, so we have to try to avoid having this type of ideas and let the child also enjoy the other part of the family.
If we want to be good parents our duty will be that our son is happy and for that, we have to allow him to keep in touch with the other members of the family and enjoy his company.
The fact that two parents divorce can have many negative consequences for the child. This is the great victim of this process, which if not treated naturally, can affect and change the way you see the world and relate to your environment. As fathers and mothers we must try to minimize these possible consequences and try that this process does not affect our son so much.
Therefore, follow these tips and all those that may be beneficial to him are strictly necessary to alleviate their discomfort. However, if it is not done consistently it can have the same effect or even worse than if they were not taken into account.