If divorce is confusing for adults, imagine how it is for your kids. It seems like everything in their world is changing and they have no control over any of it. It’s up to you to help your kids understand divorce.
We often hear that children are resilient and adaptable.
I also hear parents say that the kids know that the marriage is ending but they don’t know much about why. The parents think they’ve kept their disagreements private. They think they’ve shielded the kids from the undercurrents in the troubled marriage.
The kids seem to be doing just fine. They’re carrying on as normal.
But is this what is really happening?
Even when you think you’ve protected your kids, they know more than you give them credit for. Children know something isn’t right because their normal has changed. They see changes in routines at home.
They may be carrying on their usual but is that because they’re keeping a lid on their emotions? Are they struggling to label what it is they’re feeling? Are they trying desperately not to cause a disagreement between mom and dad?
This excellent blog posting by Mandy Walker focuses on helping children understand divorce. It also includes her conversation with Natalie Knox, a primary school teacher and lay counselor for children in crisis including general on-call trauma counseling and specialized divorce recovery counseling.