Managing Your Kids During Separation
Managing your kids during separation is never easy. It affects everything involved in a couple’s lives and only gets harder when children are already included in the equation.
Children are always perceived as innocent. This is why dealing with their emotions and making sure they fully understand the situation unfolding before their eyes with utmost care is of greatest importance. Of course, the circumstances causing inevitable separation between couples may vary for every household but, after everything is said and done, they can cause a massive impact on a kid’s life all the same.
What Factors Can Cause Separation Within a Family?
Separations within a household are not exclusive to divorce alone. While it is one of the common causes of separation issues for most families out there, several other factors and reasons could be associated with this hard-pressing situation.
The incarceration of either parent could separate them from their children and loved ones for an indefinite time. It’s a situation that causes fear, stress, and anxiety not just to the individual going behind bars, but to the people being left behind. When one parent is going to jail, it could be hard for a child to grasp the reason for a nurturing figure’s sudden absence in their lives. It’s essential to properly and adequately explain to them what’s happening, so they can eventually understand and adjust to the circumstances.
Another situation very familiar to most households is when a loved one, especially the breadwinner, is forced to go someplace far away to find better job opportunities that can improve the whole family’s state of living. When a family is struggling to make ends meet, it’s usual that one or sometimes even both parents decide to be separated from their kids and loved ones to sustain and provide for their needs.
Probably the worst of the bunch is dealing with an unexpected loss or death. Losing either parent is a painful and devastating experience to go through, and children – especially young ones – can suffer from emotional distress that can even affect their lives later in adulthood.
To help manage a child going through the hardship of dealing with separation, one must first understand how their train of thoughts and emotions works. Regardless of how challenging dealing with separation could be, there are ways to better cope with the situation and make sure you’re taking good care of your child’s wellbeing.
Strategies on how to manage your children in the middle of a separation
Here are some of the things you can do to help your child cope in the middle of a separation:
Communicating is important to managing your kids during separation
Talking with children is not exactly the easiest thing to do in the world, especially since it takes a lot of effort and sensitivity to make them comprehend things that are quite complicated. Constantly communicating with them about separation in your household could help prevent further misunderstandings in the future as they mature and grow up.
Avoid telling lies as much as possible. Even the slightest sugarcoating of details about what has truly transpired could make your child question everything in their surroundings. The truth might hurt your child’s feelings at first, but time would eventually work its wonders. By being honest, you’re giving your child the chance to openly think and adjust to the situation at their own pace.
Encourage your child to express their feelings.
Even though kids are literally still children at heart, there is a possibility that some suppressed emotions could be present. Keeping these feelings and sentiments subdued would only hurt them as time goes by. Reassuring them that whatever caused the separation between both parties was not their fault can help put their minds at ease. Always assure them that it is only normal for people to feel sad and angry at times and that it should be expressed if needed instead of bottling it up by themselves.
Listen to what your child has to say.
Let your child know and feel that they are always heard and that you are always willing to listen to what they have to say. Separation is never an easy thing to handle even for an adult, and it could be even harder to imagine for a child. Listening to what your child has to say could give you an insight into your child’s thoughts and opinions about the situation you are in. This could also serve as an opportunity for you as a parent to know your child better as a person, and from there you can develop ways to always be on the same page as you guide them.
Do not hesitate to seek professional advice for managing your kids during separation
There might be times when things get too much to handle for you and your child. Remember that it is never shameful to ask for professional help if needed. As the saying goes, “A broken soul cannot mend another broken soul”. So, if things become too heavy for you – both as a parent and as a person still coping with the pain of separation – do not hesitate to seek counsel from a therapist or a counselor for you and your child.
No one in this world wants to deal with separation. The pain it causes people and how it slowly drains the emotions out of someone could be really terrifying, especially if it impacts the lives and well-being of the children involved. Children are always associated with innocence, and it would be a shame if, at such an early age, it would already be tainted by pain and loneliness. This is why as parents, it’s important to always find a way to preserve that innocence by helping them manage their emotions in times when they most need guidance and protection.