Chandler Bing from the hit sitcom Friends hates Thanksgiving Day because that is the day when his parents broke the news that they are getting a divorce. A young Chandler, then 9 years old, has since despised that special day because of the unfortunate event.
He has also developed a defense mechanism, through cracking jokes when he is uncomfortable, to help cope with the situation. While Chandler Bing is a fictional character, the way he reacts pretty much reflects how other children whose parents are going through or have gone through divorce copes.
As a parent, going through a divorce means having the best divorce and child custody attorney here in Albuquerque by your side. But aside from the legal aspect, you should also give as much attention and effort to the other party involved in the whole divorce process – your child.
While it won’t be easy, there are a lot of ways to help your child understand, accept, and eventually cope with the situation.
Assure them that they are loved
Children whose parents are going through divorce can’t help but blame themselves even though they are not the reason for the separation. As parents, it is your responsibility to let your child feel loved despite the situation.
Talking, doing activities together, and putting on an effort, not just from your side but also from your ex can help your child better understand the reality that the situation is not their fault and that they are loved, nevertheless.
Explain the situation as truthfully as possible based on their age and maturity
Different children have different ways of coping with the situation. While there is no right or wrong way to break the news to them, the best way would be truthfully explaining the situation. Considering different factors like their age, maturity, ability to cope with stress and your child’s overall mental, emotional, social and physical health can help you find the most effective way to break the news through them.
Give your child time to process and react to the situation
Chandler used humor as a defense mechanism and as a way to cope with the unfortunate news. Other children turn to art, music, and other activities to help them express their emotions. Then, there are also others who rebel to let their parents know what they are feeling.
It is important to understand that every child reacts differently and at a different pace. So it is important to give time to your child to process and react to the situation. Assuring them that whatever emotion they might be feeling is legitimate is also very important.
Make the transition as smooth as possible
Inasmuch as you are having a hard time living without your partner at home, your child is having it even harder. Their young minds will not be able to understand that change is inevitable and that it will eventually work out for the better.
So it is your responsibility as parents to make the transition as smooth as possible through regular visitation, spending time together as a family, or attending school events like how you do so prior to the divorce. The less stressful the transition is for your child, the easier it will be for them to accept and cope with the situation.
Divorce is difficult not just for you, but also for your child. So make sure that they are well-aware of the reality of the situation as this will make things easier for you and the case.