It is very unpleasant when parents argue all the time. Some yell at each other as soon as they see each other. Others don’t speak to each other at all. In any case, this mood makes you and your siblings feel bad. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable at home anymore or you can’t stand your parents.
Many (married) couples separate when they can no longer get along with each other. Some of them were together for several decades before. But suddenly it doesn’t want to work anymore. Whatever the reason for your parents’ separation, you are bound to suffer. Most kids feel complicit and want to prevent the breakup. Over time, they realize that they are powerless in this regard. Your parents have to take control of their own lives. Since you are a part of this life, the whole thing affects you – regardless of whether you have something to say or not.
Sometimes kids who are affected have to make difficult decisions. If your parents move apart, you will have to choose one of them. You will then rarely see the other parent. Nevertheless, this is no reason to despair. Today we would like to give you some tips on how to cope better with the separation of your parents.
Tips For Dealing With Separations
Separations are difficult, but they will pass. At the moment, everything may seem very bad for you. Worries and problems are coming your way that you and your parents never had to worry about before. To get through this difficult time as well as possible, you should look out for your own well-being. The following tips will help you.
1) Do Not Interfere
First, it’s up to the parents when they separate. Second, it is not your job to take sides or otherwise interfere with either of them.
Therefore, you should never interfere in your parents’ relationship. Even if one of them is in another romantic relationship, that parent still has to take care of you. You can tell your parents that you feel hurt. However, as a child, you are out of place in their discussions and disputes.
If your parents ask for your opinion (individually or collectively), stay out of it. Make it clear that you do not want to get involved in this relationship. Your parents’ problems don’t concern you, so you shouldn’t be given a choice or dragged into the argument. Be aware of this and do not let it happen.
2) Take Time Out
It’s getting too much for you and you really can’t stand it at home anymore? If you are old enough, you may be able to spend a few days with a friend or family member.
This will help you digest the initial shock better. Your friends will try to distract you from serving worries as much as possible. In this way, you can concentrate better on yourself and gain distance from your parents’ separation.
3) Know Your Rights
Once you are 14 years old, you can have a say in who you want to move in with. Once you know what you want, talk to each parent individually. This will help you avoid any new disputes, which you certainly don’t want to be involved in. If necessary, you can suggest compromises or explain why you made the decision you did. For example, say clearly if you think that one of them will have less time for you or will not be able to take care of you as well. Also, consider that moving may involve changing schools and losing some friends. Think about that too and let it factor into your decision.
By the way, you have the right to be raised by both parents. You need your mother as much as you need your father. If one of them is a danger to you, you will only be allowed to visit him or her under supervision. In any case, you do not have to do without either of them.
4) Get Used To The New Situation: Everything Takes Time
Please do not expect yourself to get everything together right away. You may have a harder time at school until you get over the pain of the breakup. Talk to your teachers about it. They will be more understanding because they know what’s going on. Don’t put yourself under pressure and be aware that for a while things will be harder for you than before. But this time will also come to an end. Maybe even sooner than you think.
But also your parents need some time to overcome the many changes well. They may be less talkative than usual or not seem as happy as before. That’s okay. Don’t ask them to be in a good mood right away.
5) You Are Not To Blame
Most kids blame themselves when their parents split up. They ask themselves questions like, “Should I have followed the rules more?” or “Maybe I’m partly to blame for getting on their nerves too much”.
Does this apply to you, too? Then let me tell you: a separation is a decision that your parents make all by themselves. They are responsible for themselves. Therefore, you are in no way to blame for it.
Don’t think too much about it, but concentrate on how your life could go on now. Deal with the upcoming changes in a positive way and prepare yourself well for the fact that everything will be different.
6) Take Refuge In Your Own Room
Arguments can be quite nerve-wracking. Not only for your parents themselves but also for your kids. Because – whether you stay out of it or not – a fight like this doesn’t leave you and your siblings unscathed. It hurts when you hear your own parents insulting each other or even becoming aggressive. Worries and fears come up. Sometimes you even have to cry about it.
It is your parents’ job to protect you from such things as best they can. However, the separation is so upsetting for many adults that they can’t offer you the protection you deserve.
That’s why it’s important to clearly set your own boundaries. Retreat to your room with headphones on or visit a friend when your parents are arguing. It’s best to stay with other family members during such difficult times. As a general rule, however, the following should apply in all cases: Your room is a quarrel-free zone. You should have your peace and quiet here. Your parents must respect this.
7) After The Separation: Time For Yourself
Think about what you can do with the parent you don’t see as often. It is best not to spend time with both of them. Meet each person separately and do something with him or her that you enjoy. You can play sports together, go to the movies, or go shopping. Whatever comes to mind, tell your parents how you want to spend time with them.
Why you shouldn’t do something with both of them at the same time? Even if you have already separated, the pain often still runs deep. It is not easy to meet each other. That’s why you don’t know if it won’t start a fight again. Therefore, don’t ask your parents to spend time with you at the same time.
8) Seek Help
There are professionals who can help you if everything becomes too much for you. Talk to a counselor at the youth center, contact a guidance counselor, or ask your family doctor for therapy. In any case, you should ask for help if you don’t feel well in the long run. Talk to your parents about it and explain that you are not feeling well. Don’t reproach them, however, but describe objectively what you need now.
9) Some Things Are Private
Even if you are not well, you should not tell everyone what your parents told you during the separation. It is their own decision who is allowed to know what about them and who is not.
Of course, you can talk to your closest friends and family about your concerns. However, the content of private conversations should not be made public.
10) Look After Yourself
Talking does not always help. Treat yourself to something that does you good. Play sports, indulge in your favorite hobbies or spend a day at a spa.
Whatever helps you relax will help you feel better again. It’s also a great way to get your mind off your parents’ arguments.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Can you decide for yourself which parent you want to live with if your parents get divorced? Give reasons for your answer.
2) Why shouldn’t you get involved in your parents’ disputes?
3) Have you already experienced a divorce or separation in your family circle? How did it feel? How did it turn out? Draw a picture of how it is today. With whom do you live today, or with whom do the children of the family live today?
If you haven’t experienced divorce or separation yet, consider yourself lucky. Draw your family situation. Who lives with you in the same household?
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