For children, hearing that your parents are going to split up is a big shock. They will feel lots of different emotions including resentment, anger and sadness and its okay for them to feel like this. No one is going to punish them for being upset for more than a week.
Your children will more than likely feel insecure and powerless when they see that their family unit is breaking up. Children may also go through a grieving process, but will show it differently from adults. They will grieve because they don't really understand why the separation is happening.
Everyone that is part of the family is going to go through this major lifestyle change together and it is important that some things in your child's life stay the same. There are things that you can do as a parent to make life a little bit easier for them and keep them on track with their life:
• Help them live their life as normal. Encourage them to do what they always do as much as you can. For example keep the school routine the same, the activities they doat the weekend, allow their friends back after school if that’s what they normally do. Keeping their life as ‘normal’ as possible provides them with security and stability.
• Help them stay focused on their goals and dreams. They can still happen and you will still support them in what ever they choose to do -- whether that be go to university, go travelling or get a Saturday job. Their dream may be to get married and have loads of children. They can still do that. Just because your marriage did not work out it does not mean that their relationships in the future will not last.
• Encourage them to join new clubs and involve themselves in new activities. These may be activities that they have never had the chance to do and wanted to. Thisis a great fit for children who will be spending regular weekends or weekdays with you or if you have to move out the area. Joining new clubs will give them theopportunity to make new friends doing something that they really enjoy.
• If you have moved house find ways for your children to stay in touch with their old friends. Talk to them about going to visit old friends and get them to make use ofsocial websites such as facebook, email, MSN, SKYPE and texts to stay in contact with them. These are all inexpensive but effective ways of keeping old friendshipsgoing.