With divorce, numerous changes and hurdles emerge for both parents and children. However, while divorce is the parent’s decision, for a child, it may be incomprehensible and confusing.
When it comes to explaining the divorce, parents should let the child know that this separation only involves the parents, meaning that they will not be divorced from their child. Parents can assure them of this by repeatedly expressing that they love them, both verbally and through actions. Additionally, parents should stress that children are not to blame for this decision.
Parents should also listen to their child, allowing them to express their emotions and ask questions. Parents should answer those questions truthfully and also acknowledge and show respect for their feelings, helping the child understand that it’s OK to feel that way.
Furthermore, parents are encouraged to avoid fighting or blaming each other in front of them, as this may lead the child to believe that they have to take sides.
However, for a parent to be able to offer support to their child, they need to find their own emotional support. Therefore, they are encouraged to seek support, either from a community, friends or family.
– Alessia Camilleri is a first year Bachelor of Psychology (Hons.) student at the University of Malta. She is particularly interested in the counselling and family therapy. Alessia is an intern at Willingness.com.mt.