What do we tell children when we are divorcing? What do our children need from us? These are some concerns that parents who are divorcing may experience. In this blog I will be sharing a few ideas and insights around children and their needs when their parents are going through divorce.

  1. That you are supported

Perhaps you are angry, anxious, confused or hurt. The build-up leading to separating and divorcing is classified as one of the most stressful life events. So please seek sources of support and take care of yourself. This will help you be more aware and in control of your emotions when talking to and supporting your child, when welcoming your child after their visit with their other parent, when mentioning your child’s other parent to someone in the presence of your child and so on. Hopefully, in time and with support, your anger, anxiety, confusion and hurt will start to subside and you will start to find new meaning in your life; but sharing your anger towards your ex in front of your child might create very complex tension and splitting that your child will need to carry and resolve.

2. That they do not need to choose

Show your child that you do not need them to side with you; or to choose between showing loyalty to you over their other parent. Children might need us to reassure them that we understand that they love both parents, and that both parents love them back. Share with your child that you are also glad to hear about the moments where your child enjoys their time with their other parent. That you are happy for your child having a nice time and feeling excited about spending time with their other parent.

3. You are interested in knowing how they are experiencing these changes

Create spaces where you can listen to your child’s fears or anxieties while they adjust to any changes brought about following your divorce. Check with your child if there is anything that they wish to ask you about what is happening, and that if they do not have any questions just now, they can ask you anytime.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.