Thanks to Lifestar Therapy for this guest post:
Parents want to keep their children protected and will do everything to ensure children feel safe and secure. However, even the best of marriages can hit a rough patch and leave children wondering if this is their fault.
Help your kids through this time by providing stability, routine, and being there to answer their questions.
During difficult times, children feel more secure when they know what is going on and what to expect. Take some time to talk with your children (in an age appropriate way) about the situation and remember these 3 things:
1. Keep nasty comments about your spouse to yourself. When you’re angry, speaking negatively about your spouse can be tempting. However, it’s important to keep your opinions to yourself, especially in front of your children. If the situation between you and your spouse escalates, you need to have a clear understanding that defaming each other is not acceptable. In-laws and other relatives should also be warned these slanders against a parent is not allowed.
2. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember what you needed or wanted from your parents when you were 6 or 9 or 12, even 16? By remembering to look at things from their perspective, you can help your children adjust to the situation. If you have more than one child, use this exercise for each one to better understand their individual needs to deal with the changes.
3. Be prepared to answer their questions. Change is never easy, and for children it can be even harder. Let them ask questions and keep the communication lines open so they feel important, and that you’re always available. Also, be aware of responses like, “I’m fine,” “I’m not interested,” or “I don’t care,” as this might not be the case.
If you have questions or what to know what else you can do to help your children cope during this time, a therapist can help to answer your questions and concerns.
About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy. She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.