In family break-down, if parents only knew what they were letting themselves and their children in for when they commence separation and divorce proceedings, they would do everything in their power to stay together. It’s the children that suffer out of all proportion to their parents. If just one parent really wishes to save the marriage, they may never succeed but they can put in place a family safety net for children when the marriage breaks down; a safety net that could rescue the little ones from the worst effects of that their parents visited upon them. Here’s what you can do.
Family Safety Net for Children When Marriage Breaks Down (1)
Don’t Underestimate Grannies
If at all possible, relocate to the home of your parents. If they are empty nesters, have they a spare room or two and ideally don’t live too far away from the family home? You are trying to set up a new home with love, support and a structure which will allow you all to continue to function. This arrangement could and should work both ways with your parents benefiting from the company, getting a housekeeping contribution as well as hands on help in the running of the household. Easier said than done, agreed, but like the old saying says, “desperate measures for desperate means” or whatever. I personally know of families held together by elderly grandmothers and they benefit greatly from her contribution and presence.
Call on Other Families
Participate with other families in the usual family activities such as games, barbecues and ordinary old fashioned play. Encourage appropriate friendships with children from “together” families who share your beliefs and values. I have found with my children that this contributes to their security and dispels the notion that the model of the single parent family is acceptable except in the most exceptional circumstances. Having a welcoming home will be reciprocated to your children and allow them to see how normal mom and dad situations work.
Call on God
Please read on because I to would have considered this advice to be outside the ball park only a few short years ago. The pain that children go through when parents separate is evidence that biological parents should remain together in the family unit. I have found the Bible useful on a number of scores. Children love to know about God and there are great stories in the Bible, which if explained will give them great comfort. Children can learn to cope with their trials, possibly even understand them and pray for a better tomorrow. They will learn about the frail nature of man and to be forgiving towards their parents just as God is prepared to forgive us. The children should be able to detect from you a complete absence of animosity and that you too have forgiven your spouse but are personally powerless to bring about reconciliation. The Bible will teach them of their own need to be reconciled with God for ultimate peace of mind.