Emotional and behavioral problems are more common when parents are separated. Children can become very insecure and cause them to behave like they are much younger and therefore nightmares, worries or disobedience can all occur. However, we can help our children by making sure that the children know they still have two parents who love them, and will continue to care for them; protect them from adult worries and responsibilities; and making it clear that it’s not their fault if the marriage did not work.
As parents, we need to be:
- open in telling our child what’s going on with the family and reassure them that they will still be loved and cared for by both parents;
- have time to spend with our child;
- interested in our child’s views, but make it clear that parents are responsible for the decisions;
- consistent with our usual activities and routines, like seeing members of the extended family;
- making as few changes as possible to help our child feel that, in spite of the difficulties, life can still be reasonably normal because both parents love them; and
- never ever ask our children to take sides, it would confuse them more.