This has been a strange month. No less
than three times I was asked advice about protecting children from
effects of divorce. Once it was grandparents seeking help with the
issue because they were given custody by the court !
As divorce and seperations become more
frequent reality of a changing society, we need to have a clear
knowledge of protecting children from the emotional holocaust.
Many times I see couples who have
decided to go their own ways for their own reasons and want a stable
future for their children. Fact is – no matter how well you do it,
children will have trouble. Afterall they NEED both parents.
We can take some precautions to limit
the damage –
- Be aware that children KNOW
something is wrong. Do not keep telling them ” everything is going
to be alright”. It will just make them more suspicious of you.Tell
them clearly that things are not going well and it will take a while
to get everything sorted out.
- Don’t forget to let them know
again and again that it is not their fault that you are seperating.
- When finally you decide to move
away into different houses, let kids know who goes where.
- Do not go overboard with your
promises about time to be spent with them, vacations, pocketmoney,
etc. Promise only what is definitely possible for you month after
boring / stressful month. This is very important as parent living
away feels pressured to promise heaven just to be in kid’s good
books and then come up with un- believable excuses.
- Remember that you two have
difference of opinion and kids have nothing to do with it. If kids
make some choices, unfavourable to you, don’t hold it against them
- Do not outsource your childcare
responsibilities to grandparents / friends/ neighbours / new spouses
If you are the parent living away there
are some important things-
- Do not undermine decipline of
their permanent home.
- Do not waste your breath to talk
nasty things about your ex-spouse.
- Do not spoil kids with material
things and luxuries in whatever little time you get with them.
Remember they are YOUR kids and whatever damage you do to them, will
come home after a while.
Some common points-
- Don’t expect kids to like your new
partner / spouse straightaway. Do not force them to call your new
spouse by – daddy / mummy names. It can just mess things up.
“Aunty / Uncle” is also a no-no. First name is nice and
- Be aware that kids can take you
for a ride by telling horror stories about your ex-spouse. Do not
believe everything they say !!
Now go ahead and enjoy that hard earned