Your children mean the world to you, so how do you make sure their emotional needs are being met as you and your spouse make the difficult decision to separate or file for divorce? Of all places, a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians showed how, even in the most tight-knit of families, special care needs to be taken to make sure children feel loved, safe, and secure.
As was reported…
The world has known for many months about the marital breakup of Kris and Bruce Jenner, but in Sunday night’s episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the strain it has put upon their youngest children was fully recognized.
During a family meeting, Kendall seemed most affected by the news, who proved to be not only hurt by her parents ‘sugar-coating’ of the situation, but also the thought of losing her older half-siblings.
‘I don’t want to live like I have divorced parents,’ Kendall, 18, said when she found out her father would be moving permanently into their Malibu beach house. ‘Why do you care about being alone out here so much when your wife and kids, who are still growing up, are in another house?’
Are your kids feeling similarly about your separation? To help children make the emotional adjustment, some strategies that work can include:
Keeping your children’s lives as “normal” as possible. As much you can during this time of change and transition, consider what you and your spouse can do to keep your child’s home and school life as routine as possible. This may also mean making decisions about child custody and parenting time that put your child’s need to feel secure as a top priority, instead of what you or the other parent wants.
Put your words into actions. When it comes time to tell your children about your separation or divorce, you and your spouse may say all the right words, but do your actions reflect them? If you tell your children that you and your spouse plan to remain on friendly terms, are you still fighting in front of the kids? If you tell your child that his or her relationship with the other parent matters very much, are you doing everything you can to strengthen this relationship? If there were ever a time to employ the advice, “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk,” this may it.
Give your children the help and support they need. Even for well-adjusted children, there may be a benefit to seeing a family counselor during divorce as a way to help process their feelings, and to help all of your develop strategies for still feeling and acting as a family as you move forward. There are many avenues you can take for receiving counseling, which can read about here: How to Find a Divorce Therapist.