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Divorce in Process

How to Have a Happy Home for Kids During Divorce – Q&A with Dr.Chinmay

How to Have a Happy Home for Kids During Divorce – Q&A with Dr.Chinmay

Struggling to keep your home vibes happy and cheerful when going through a divorce?

Worry not, we did a Q&A with Dr.Chinmay Kulkarni, a psychiatrist from Mumbai and he has some really insightful advice for you.

 

1. Divorce in most cases is a traumatic event. The family is affected. And everyone around the family affected. How can partners communicate better at such times so that their children are not affected?

Often divorce happens after a lot of bitterness in the marriage. Character assassinations & false cases often follow. Due to this, partners don’t make rational decisions. If the communication focuses on the issues at hand and not what happened years or months ago then there is a possibility of better communication.

 

2. What measures can the spouses take to care of themselves and the family till they aren’t divorced?

Focus more on the present and future. Feelings of hatred, resentment, betrayal, anger etc. harm them more than others. If they have frequent sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, regret, guilt, crying spells, sleep disturbances, lack of pleasure, trouble in concentration, suicidal ideas then they should consult a psychiatrist and take professional help.

A lot of people going through divorce suffer from the symptoms of depression or anxiety. Doesn’t mean you are mentally weak. It is always better to seek professional help for depression than to suffer in silence. There are biological factors involved in mental disorders and so it is advised to consult a psychiatrist for that.

 

3. How can you tone down the hurt kids might feel when they hear about their parent’s divorce? How can the parents break this news with sensitivity?

Children learn more from observation of parent’s behavior and less from what parents tell them. So there are a few things:

  • Parents should make sure that they behave responsibly in front of the children
  • It is always better if the children don’t carry ill feelings about any of their parent
  • Parents should break the news to the children in a manner which is not criticizing and which focuses more on the inevitability of the separation. And while doing that be prepared to answer the questions from your kids like, “Will I get to meet the other parent?”, “Will I go to a new school?”, “Will I meet my friends?”
  • If they are upset, help them put their feelings in words. Motivate them to be honest about this situation. Let them know that you are here for them, whatever happens. Let them not feel scared and afraid.

4. How can the partners smoothen their daily transactions when kids are involved?

It is better if the parents resolve their differences in the absence of their children. I would strictly advise to not call names or blame each other like ‘your father is a liar characters loser’ or ‘your mother is an insensitive troublemaker’ etc in front of the children. Parents should understand the child’s need for a parent and so should not force his/her opinion about their spouse on the child. In fact, smile more in front of them and help them feel comfortable.

 

5. Parents will often feel pressured in such times. How can they ease their tensions? What can they do to let go of their steam?

Parents should support their child emotionally & financially. Often parents might blame their son/daughter for their failed marriage. So parents should try to resolve the differences between themselves but if it is not possible then they should move on.

 

6. Would you also recommend parents to adjust their children into new situations they are going to be in after divorce? Like, they would move in with either of the parents, maybe a new house?

Make sure your children are exposed to this change gradually. If there is a sudden change in a child’s life then it may have a worse impact on him/her.

 

7. You know, when there is trouble, without you wanting you can just erupt in front of your kids. You start fighting, yelling. What tips can you give to avoid such situations?

This rule is not only for parents going through a divorce; it is for all the parents. And the rule is that parents shouldn’t come in pairs. Couples would usually not fight, yell in front of guests. Similarly, they should solve their problems privately. For children, parents should be one unit.

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