How to Help Children Cope With Divorce Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Children cope with Divorce

In today's world, people are increasingly becoming independent as well as less compromising. There was a time when people used to value marriage, children and were understanding towards each other and had the capacity to work their differences in order to live together in harmony and peace. The case today is quite the opposite. We see a hike in the statistics of divorce and separations for various reasons.

People tend to argue that women are now more independent and do not need a man to complete them. This may be so but this freedom is definitely making them more focused on themselves which sometimes leads to a stubborn, uptight attitude and leads to a divorce. Men on the other hand, tend to still have those dominating attitudes where they want to be the head of the household and can simply not tolerate any interference towards that department. In a nutshell, everyone is becoming self absorbed and society just does not lay that big an emphasis on staying together and making the marriage work. It is also easier to seek a divorce now and remarry or even stay single because there is fewer stigmas attached and there is more acceptances received towards the divorced status now. (Hetherington)

But let's look beyond the two individuals involved in the marriage and consider the wider implications of the broken marriage. It may be accepted that the husband and wife might outlive and accept the end of the marriage because they were the ones who made the choices but in this whole scenario, the deepest impact is that on the children. They might not show what they go through but the broken marriage impacts them in ways that cannot be comprehended on the surface. It is essential for the parents to realize these and help the children cope up with this new change in their life.

For many years now, studies and researches have been conducted which seek to analyze the differences that come about in the attitudes of children that are brought up in broken families and they tend to be the children who need the most attention. The first and foremost step that parents need to take when helping the child cope up with the idea of their parents divorcing is to let them know that they are still important and that none of the decisions leave them out. It is noticed that when the children feel like they are not getting the attention they want, they act out in a variety of ways by throwing tantrums, getting themselves into trouble so that they are noticed. Some children might just isolate themselves and feel like no one loves them and get lost in their own little world.

However, both the sides are equally bad and it is important not to let the children feel left out. They need to be wanted, paid attention to and be cared for. When a divorce takes place, it is sometimes common that the child feels completely confused who to ask for at what time. The parents might tell the child to ask the other parent for permission or to be supportive or look after them which is the worst thing that one can do. It is important to realize that both the parents are irreplaceable and the child seeks a separate kind of attention, love and devotion from the two individuals. The idea is to make the child feel that both of them are there for the child whenever he or she needs them. Despite the divorce, the child still needs both the parents and thus, it is essential that the two devote their respective time for the children and do something together as well such as attending parent teacher conferences, going to any games or extracurricular activities that the child participates in and so on. If one of them goes and the other doesn't, the child feel like the world revolves around the parents and they cannot ignore their differences for the child. Thus, this is one essential step for both the parents to show their concern towards the child (Kelly).

Along with the need to tell the child that both the parents are concerned, they also need to ask the child questions and build a close relationship with him or her in order for the child to trust them to be there in times of happiness and in need. As the child grows and reaches the teenage, it gets more difficult and the changes might cause the child to act rebellious or indulge in adverse acts if he or she feels left out. Statistics show that there is a much higher possibility of the children of broken families to indulge in activities such as gambling, drugs, alcohol, shop lifting and much more. This draws more attention towards them and they get the attention that they want but in a more negative light. Thus, it is important for the child to know that their parents love them and care about them and the child can confide in them to express what he or she feels like (Butler).

The needs of the child become different when he or she grows and matures and requires a different kind of attention. Constant moral, emotional, financial and social support becomes an integral part of their lives. Also, training the child and making them strong enough to stand on their own feet and be confident about themselves and fight against the world is what they need. They might feel week sometimes and feel that they are not good enough because they do not have the kind of family that the other children around them have but they should be made to realize that even if their family is not exactly together, they are still one.

Peer pressure might cause them to opt out of certain choices that life offers them and engrain a lack of confidence in them but that has to be carefully sought out and the parents need to look out for the child and sense any difference in attitude and pick out any queer behavior that might stand out. If the child gets involved in some kind of negative behavior, it might be very difficult to handle them but the parents need to devote time and realize how delicate the issue can turn out to be.

In instances where the parents are unable to let their differences apart and let the child grow up on their own, it might be too stressful for the child. To assist them to get out of that mode, therapy might be a good option. The therapy may be in any form that the child feels comfortable with. It might be as simple as engaging him or herself in something they love and feeling the sense of achievement and attainment. It might also involve the consultation of a psychiatrist in dire circumstances when the child simply gets out of hand.

Sometimes the parents do not feel what they are doing and the negligence they are showing towards the child until the damage has been done. In such a situation, the child might have given up on the trust and hope of confiding in their parents which is where professional help and treatment might come in. They might need to seek the help of a psychiatrist where he or she can vent out their inner feelings and be provided a safe space to talk about the things that they would not otherwise (Isaacs).

The children that come in from such backgrounds may also need more love than a normal child and saying and expressing those feelings would actually make a difference to their lives. The parents as well as the people around them should make them feel loved, wanted and should make it a point to show by their actions that they love them. They might even be requiring more softness and less of a harsh attitude. Sometimes the parents might have to put less restrictions on these children and allow them to enjoy more freedom because stopping them from something and restricting them might give them the impression that they cannot make their own decisions or are dependent upon others or even that they are not being trusted by those around them so these circumstances might differ in other normal situations.

The children coming from such backgrounds may also experience low morale and confidence and they might have to be pushed on to something and realize their talent and potential. For instance, a child may feel that he or she will be made fun of which keeps them from pursuing and being a part of something that they really want. Stage frights, crowd fears and such instances may scare them so those around them need to be extra co-operative and helpful towards them, realizing what they have been through. Undermining them, ridiculing them and pushing them back will just make them lose their path.

The co-operation and…

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