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Kids   »   How are you? 🤗

How are you? 🤗

When parents are preoccupied with themselves and all the practical matters that need to be sorted out during a divorce, it’s easy for children to feel a bit forgotten. A simple question like “how are you” from one of the parents can make everything feel so much better for a while.

For you as a child, it can help to know certain things about divorces and how children and parents usually react. We at Varannan Vecka have put together tips and texts that we hope can help you when your parents have decided to separate.

One thing is true for all families. It’s never a child’s fault when parents get divorced!

Malin Bergström, child psychologist and co-founder Varannan Vecka-appen

For most children, it gets worse at first but then it gets better!

It’s common for things to be messy or even chaotic when parents get divorced! Everyone in the family can feel bad at the same time. At the same time, there are a lot of practical things that change. You have to move, maybe change schools, and get used to not seeing both your parents at the same time. It’s easy to think that your life and family will be messy forever. But luckily, that’s not true. On the other side of the divorce, there’s a new everyday life. It’s different, but it doesn’t have to be worse. Most parents decide to get divorced because they want the family to work better. It can be hard to dare to hope for that when everything is upside down. For most, things get a little worse at first and then actually get better.

It’s never a child’s fault when parents get divorced!

Some children wonder if they’ve done something to affect their parents so that they want to get divorced. That’s not the case. A divorce is always about how the parents feel about each other. Sometimes it’s about their relationship as a couple – that they argue, don’t have fun together, want different things, or find it hard to relax and be happy together. Sometimes it’s more about parenting itself that they can’t agree on.

Some feel like they have to do everything themselves and that the other parent doesn’t help. Others feel like the other parent interferes too much and think that everything would be easier if they were left alone to decide. There are almost as many reasons for parents to get divorced as there are families. But one thing is true for all families – it’s never a child’s fault when parents get divorced!

Quiet moments can help a little

When everything is messy and chaotic in the family, it’s important that there are still moments when you’re doing well together – preferably every day. When nothing is normal, it’s extra important that there’s at least something that’s the same. Getting a sandwich with your favorite topping for breakfast can help you start the day calmly – with a feeling that at least something is as it usually is. Maybe you have a snack together in the evenings and talk about the day, or maybe your parent sits on your bedside for a while in the evenings, like they did when you were younger. When your life is tough, small everyday routines are important. And that parents take the time sometimes to ask “how are you?”.

A safe place that’s yours

When your parents get divorced, you might not even know where you’re going to live or how often you’ll get to see your parents. If you feel worried and sad, it’s extra important to have somewhere to retreat, a place where you feel safe. For many, the bed is such a place. It can also be good to figure out things you can do that usually help you calm down. Maybe you relax when you watch something on your phone or computer? Maybe it helps if someone gives you a massage or scratches your back. For some, it helps to fantasize about cozy places or things they’ve done. Finding your safe place and your safe things to do can make you less anxious and help create security.

Elisabeth Scholander