Going through a divorce can be a really difficult thing. Especially when there are kids involved. There are so many brilliant resources out there for adults who are experiencing divorce. But how many resources are there available that specifically focus on the kid’s perspective? How does divorce affect children?
Enter- A Kid With Two Homes.
What and Who Is A Kid With Two Homes?
A Kid With Two Homes is a realistic, beneficial and freely accessible blog that seeks to help kids of divorce, separation, and family conflict feel seen, heard and less alone. It’s run by Bella Duncan, a 22-year-old Law/Psychology graduate from Sydney, Australia.
Like many in our exEXPERTS community, Bella has lived her life as a kid of divorce – so, she gets it. And Jessica and T.H. were lucky enough to find her and speak to her in order to help kids and parents everywhere with navigating divorce with children.
Bella’s parents divorced when she was 3, her younger brother was 1. Her parents’ divorce was high conflict from the time she was aged 3 – 18. At the age of 18, Bella said, “enough is enough.” As a result of Bella’s communication skills, resilience, and determination, Bella’s family now resembles an amicable divorce situation.
Bella’s experience was not without conflict, difficulty, and effort yet Bella is now in a position to share her experience and positive coping mechanisms to ultimately help kids of divorce, separation, and family conflict feel seen, heard and less alone.
Why Is The Kids Perspective So Important?
Divorce is difficult for all parties involved. However, it is especially difficult for the kids.
Offering a glimpse into the kids’ perspective can help parents better understand their kids’ thought processes and feelings that come as a result of divorce. Getting a divorce is never the kids’ decision, yet they bear the consequences.
As a parent, understanding your divorce from your kid’s perspective can be a game-changer. It can help you:
- Better understand your kid’s thoughts and feelings
- Make your kids feel comfortable in both of their homes
- Ensure that your divorce does not have long-lasting negative impacts
What Are The Key Things for Parents to Know?
Having respect for your co-parent is having respect for your kid
Talking negatively about your co-parent to your kid is a no-go-zone. Why? Bella uses this example: One day you are talking negatively about your co-parent to your kid. The next day you tell your kid “you’re just like your father.”
Take a second to think about how this will make your kid feel. From the kid’s perspective, this can be extremely hurtful and damaging. Letting your feelings out about your ex-partner is important – just not to your kids.
Divorce is Not the Kids’ Responsibility
Kids of divorce can often feel responsible for their parent’s happiness, loneliness, and the logistics that come with divorce.
Kids of divorce should never be made to feel like this. Some ways this can be circumvented include:
- Reminding your kids that the divorce is not their fault
- Reminding your kids that your happiness or loneliness is not their responsibility
- Ensuring you organize all the logistics necessary for your kids to travel between their two homes.
Communication is Key
Effective communication = success. Whether you’re a kid or a parent in a divorce, communication is key. It is so important for all parties to effectively communicate throughout a divorce.
- Effectively communicating to kids that the divorce is not their fault
- Consistently making it clear to kids of divorce that ‘the line is always open’ and they can communicate anything, anytime
- Reminding kids of divorce that there is always a listening ear, free of judgment, willing to help
- Effectively communicating with your co-parents surrounding any logistics involving your kids.
The Kids Perspective Matters – A LOT!
Divorce is really difficult – especially for kids. The kid’s perspective in divorce is incredibly important and by listening to our kids and giving them a platform to speak up candidly, parents will have more opportunities to make their family’s divorce a better situation for everyone.