Helping Children Talk About their Emotions after Divorce
Most children talk very little about their parents’ divorce and their feelings about it even though they experience deep grief. Parents who would like their children to open up and talk about their feelings about the divorce can do the following things:
1. Tell the child what will happen
The fact that almost all children worry about what will happen to them is an important point that parents can to use to initiate conversations about the divorce. During these talks the parent can explain where the child will be living, the parent they will be living with, when they will see the other parent and conclude by asking the child how they feel about the changes.
2. Tell the child you still love them
Another way that a parent can attempt to make their child talk about the divorce is by telling them that even though their feelings for the other parent have changed, they still love the child very much as their feelings for them are still the same. The parent can then ask the child how they feel.
3. Spend quality time with the child
Spending time with the child is another quality parenting practice that a parent can use during this traumatic period. During these parent-child dates, the parent should give the child space to not talk and listen to them without judgment when they speak. Keeping these dates even when the child will not speak helps deepen the parent-child connection which makes the child feel more secure and possibly open up.
4. Answer questions truthfully
Once the child begins to open up by asking questions, the parent should do their best to answer them truthfully and without hostility to the other parent who may not be present, after taking into account the child’s age, temperament and the circumstances that led to the divorce.
Written by: Marian Kim, Rust Built, Marketing Services