Trennungskinder - Opfer einer Scheidung
The separation of parents is a dramatic change in the family structure. Children need a lot of security, strength and security to cope with this change. And not only children, but all family members need time to survive these changes. Change means that every family member should address the issue of separation.
No secrets to children
Children affected would like to know what happens at home. This means they want to be involved. Often it can be observed that they try to prevent the separation with all means. Secrets or even denials towards children are not to be recommended. Children are more likely to feel the non-verbal language of adults than the verbal language. They have a very fine sense of when there is an imminent danger in the air. The children may have already noticed growing tensions before they tell them about the separation. It is therefore important to talk openly about this with the children. Secrets only offend them more.
How do I tell my kids?
Explain the separation to your children as age-appropriate as possible. It is important that they also explain what will change, e.g. "Dad visits you on weekends". Ask your children what they need and how they feel about it. Because children quickly feel guilty when dad and mum separate. Children experience the divorce of their parents as a fear situation, because they fear to lose a parent. This is another reason why it is important for them to be able to explain to their children that they are not guilty of separation. Children often find themselves in a conflict of loyalty when their parents separate and feel guilty for the situation. Sentences like "Papa and Mama don't love each other anymore, but Papa and Mama love you" can be a beginning.
Don't denigrate the other parent!
Although parents themselves suffer from separation and are very angry with each other, they should never speak negatively about the other parent in the presence of their children. Parents often try to pull children to their side in order to take revenge on the ex-partner. However, children feel that they are under a lot of pressure because they are suddenly supposed to take sides. But it is important for their psychological development that they are allowed to respect both parents. Because one thing is always important to consider: For children, both parents are central persons of reference. And as a rule, children also love both parents. If one parent is lost, children feel disoriented.
There are some parents who are only allowed to see their child on weekends or holidays. Usually the children are then overwhelmed with presents, are allowed to watch TV for a long time and eat lots of sweets. These "bribery attempts" often cause trouble when the child is back home. Then it says: "But with Daddy I was allowed ...". In questions of upbringing, both parents should agree even after a separation. A "Hüh und Hott" only unsettles the child. In addition such bribery attempts provide only for unnecessary conflicts, which do not have to be provoked.
Children's behavior during separation
Children often react with behavioural abnormalities during a separation. These behavioural abnormalities are a solution pattern for the child to cope with the situation. Infants often behave aggressively or are totally frightened. For example, it may happen that the child starts to wet again even though it was already dry.
School children can often no longer follow lessons, so it is not surprising that they write bad grades. Schoolchildren are more aware that they are not to blame for the separation of their parents, but they often lack conversations about their own feelings. They feel left alone, sad, aggressive or helpless. Some schoolchildren withdraw from their room and are hardly approachable. Some school-age children are also seen by one of the parents as "partner replacements" or "best friends". These mothers or fathers talk to the child about their own problems and ask for solutions. However, children naturally cannot react like adults and once again feel overwhelmed in such situations. Affected children are forced into an adult role too early, which is unfavourable for the psychological development of the child.
In the case of behavioural problems of the child, parents should take advantage of an advice centre or curative play therapy in a SpZ (Sozialpädriarischen Zentrum) or an integrative day care centre.
Support of advice centres
Although it may be difficult for parents, it is important that children in this age group have *** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***