Parents’ divorce affects children significantly. It influences their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. How does one cope with this in a proactive manner? Here are some
Don’t blame yourself: Remember that you are not the one at fault. It’s no help finding reasons that indicate that you played a primary role in the situation. Things that happen between adults are not the result of what you might have done or how you might have been.
2 Do not judge: Try not to be judgmental. There will always be aspects that you will not be entirely aware of. Picking sides and getting in the middle of such a situation would not help at all.
3 Empathise: Try and look at the situation from the points of view of both your parents. Being able to empathise with them will help you gain a better perspective on the situation.
4 Try not to take sides: Taking sides is never beneficial. It is important that you continue to maintain your independent, individual relationship with each parent.
5 Spend quality time with parents: Whatever time you spend with either parent, do not spend it discussing the matter and what could have been. Instead, spend time doing fun things with them to keep them entertained and in good humour. You too should focus on enjoying yourself.
6 Do not stop socialising: Distressing situations can have an impact on one’s social interactions. Try and maintain an active engagement with friends and others in your social network to enable you to disengage mentally and also get support.
7 Don’t bottle up: Bottling up your thoughts and feelings is no good. It is better, instead, to share your experiences and thoughts and feelings with your loved ones. They would also be able to provide you with different ways of looking at things.
8 Don’t avoid your interests and activities: Avoiding doing things or not doing activities you enjoy is not a solution. Instead, you need to try and engage in things which give you some moments of pleasure and distract you from your distressful thoughts and experiences.
9 Don’t get negative: Negativity will only exacerbate your distress. It only serves to worsen your condition. Try and look towards the more positive things or at least take a more neutral view.
10 Talk to a counsellor: If things are getting very difficult to be managed on your own, then taking an expert’s opinion and help is a good way of proceeding.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare