Children During Separation & Divorce
Updated: Jan 18
Confusion, resentment and sadness often mask the positive side to separation and divorce which can, when handled sensitively, relieve two people from the burden of their unhappiness and offer an opportunity for a family to evolve in a more favourable direction. Whichever way the break-up process is handled it requires time and energy, rendering parents absent from their children. Suddenly a parent is forced to accept that they will lose the strong emotional support and ties to a partner. The telephone becomes an important lifeline and consolitary-seeking calls to friends and family take precedence over children.
The process of separation and divorce requires guts, and the constant call to courage can put parents under strain. Parents naturally feel guilty about dividing the family and may swing between pushing their children away or over-indulging them with material possessions - ignoring or rewarding their pain. The atmosphere in the home environment can grow hostile if parents feel forced to live together under a blanket of dis-ease and bitterness whilst a financial agreement is reached, and acting from intellect rather than emotion becomes something that is easier said than done. Furthermore, both parents are forced to address the prospect of new financial pressures, a second home must be bought and an existing home must be maintained without the financial help of another. For the most part, lawyers are involved and the financial obligations here can run into thousands of pounds, especially if the break-up is acrimonious. All of these take their toll on both parents and diminish their ability to focus on their children’s general day-to-day needs.
When the spilt finally comes, there is inevitably a period of re-structure. This takes time to implement and sometimes children can be resistant to a parent’s efforts due to grief and feelings of insecurity about the future. Parents in the throes or aftermath of separation or divorce will find it very difficult to live in the present moment, yet the present moment is the only assured sanctuary. In the present moment life is whole and secure and this is what a parent needs to teach their children at this time.
Immense transitional strain can be overcome through:
showing children the practice of patient acceptance.
showing children the wisdom of compassion
teaching children that by knowing the nature of the mind and heart any challenge is surmountable.
teaching children to have faith in the belief that all is as it is for a reason and for a finite time, like waiting for the waves in the sea to settle after a storm.