Your Children your divorce

Vincent S Collins Sr By Vincent S Collins Sr, 10th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Divorce

A short essay about how to help children deal with their parents divorce. This essay was written from the perspective of a adult who struggled with the divorce of his parents and used his experience to make the experience easier for his son years later.

Insiders point of view

Divorce can have serious emotional effects on the children involved. As an adult who had to deal with the divorce of my parents many years ago, I have a unique understanding of the Child's perspective. This understanding prepared me to help my child cope with my divorce 8 years ago.

Consider the child's perspective

my separation and eventual divorce from my wife of 7 years was financially and emotionally devastating. I lost more than half of my assets, I was forced to relocate and essentially start life over. However, I made a commitment to myself and to my 5 year old son that I would not lose contact with him. My experience as a child of divorced parents helped me to appreciate the importance of him understanding what was going on. I explained to my son repeatedly that what happened between his mother and I had nothing to do with him. This may seem like common sense but, you would be surprised at how many children question their role in the separation of their parents. I went through this questioning phase while my parents were going through their divorce and I was reassured by both of my parents that my sister and I had no role in their separation. They reassured us that they loved us and would always be there for us, and they were.

Be creative and communicate with the child

The most challenging issue of my separation and divorce was visitation and scheduling overnight stays. My experience as a child was not bad when it came to visits from dad however, I remember feeling as if I could only see my father on the weekends and I certainly didn’t want my son to feel that way. This memory encouraged me to be creative when it came to scheduling time with my son. My ex-wife and I had joint custody and we were able to work out a schedule that allowed my son and me to spend time together during the week as well as on the weekends. His mother and I made every attempt not to disrupt our son’s life anymore than it already was. We would alternate weeks during which I would pick him up after school and take him to karate practice, help him with his homework or just hang out. I made it clear to him that he could call me anytime and that would always be there for him, no matter what. I also made a deliberate effort to communicate with teachers, coaches, clergy and, anyone else that was a part of my son’s life. My son gradually accepted the new arrangement and settled into his own routine. Today he is well adjusted, happy and, healthy, a popular kid and great student. I’m very proud of him.

My advice to parents going through

1. Tell your kids that you love them and that it’s not their fault. Children may believe that your divorce is their fault; the only way that they will know for certain that it is not, is if you tell them.
2. Don’t speak ill of your ex-spouse around your children. Any negative feelings you have for your ex-spouse should be kept to yourself. You only hurt your child by bad mouthing their parent.
3. Be creative when scheduling visits. Try to schedule visits on weekdays as well weekends.
4. Stay involved in your child’s life as much as possible. Don’t limit your involvement with your child to weekly visitation; attend practices, plays, church or any other event that they participate in. This will show them that you are a part of their life and are there for them.
I shared my experience with you with the hope that it may be helpful. Good Luck.
Vincent S. Collins Sr.

Tags

Divorce And Children

Meet the author

author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
I am a student of life, I read and write poetry based on my experiences. I also write short humorous stories based on my experiences and observations.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th May 2013 (#)

Facts of life have to be faced. The children are innocent victims and need reassurance. Good points and tips, Vincent, thank you - siva

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author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
10th May 2013 (#)

thank you siva

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
10th May 2013 (#)

Very good points about not speaking ill of the other parent. Too many people think divorce is a competition, it is not, and no matter what, even if it was, the kids often end up losing when both parents want to win.

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author avatar Vincent S Collins Sr
10th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Mark

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author avatar Kathy Harris
4th Jun 2013 (#)

My parents divorced when I was ten I was luck that they responded with the advise you gave above too many parents get caught up with their own issues and kids are caught in the middle. I hope your article will reach the right people so a child will not experience additional heartbreak a divorce can bring.

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