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How To Prevent A Separation From Ruining Your Kids’ Happy Memories Of Mom And Dad
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  • The separation process will not be easy for the mom or the dad, but neither will it be for children, especially those who have an equally strong bond with their parents.

    However, in many cases, arriving at a decision to part ways is not only inevitable but the best for everyone.

    Sometimes, the only question left for parents to answer is, “How do I break our separation to our children without hurting them?”

    “There’s no (easy) way for us to say, ‘Maghihiwalay kami’ to our children,’” opens Love Cosio, who, together with husband Dreus co-authored the book Love Connect: The Couple’s Love Language to a Happy Marriage. “I think, it will (always) be damaging sa kanila.”

    On an episode of Smart Parenting Confessions on audio live cast Calamansi, Love says that when couples decide to separate, they should ensure that it doesn’t translate to their relationship with their children.

    “Don't separate yourself from your kids. Don't isolate your kids from what happened to the both of you. Always be honest enough sa nangyari kasi, I think, 'yun 'yung pinaka-pwede nating ibigay na respeto sa mga anak natin -- for us, to be honest enough sa kanila. Especially, kung adults na naman sila, they will understand.”

    Love also adds that whether parents tell their children about a separation sooner or later will still hurt them.

    “There's no other way. Like, (you may be thinking) maybe five years from now 'pag nalaman nila, hindi na sila masasaktan? Lahat ng bata, nasasaktan because mahal nila 'yung parehas na naghiwalay,” she says.


    How to help your child manage your separation

    Children do adjust and are often resilient to cope with a new reality. But Love says, “You have to guide them in their coping. And for sure, there is always hope na soon, sana maayos din.

    “But, again, personally, kapag may mga friends kami na ganyan, (ang advice namin is to) always hug your kids everyday kasi hurting ka with what happened, hurting din 'yung mga anak mo.

    So, maybe the hug will help you and you will help them, kung nakanino man 'yung anak.”
    Love also brings up the issue of “ghosting,” defined by Psychology Today as “abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation.” It doesn’t happen just among single people but those formerly married. Love warns children may be ‘ghosted’ as well in the process.

    “Maybe it will not work out anymore with you and with your spouse, but please, still be a father and be a mother to your children,” she stresses.

    How to tell your kids the separation is not their fault 

    When children witness fighting between their parents or anticipate an impending separation, they tend to blame themselves. What can parents do to make their kids understand that it is not their fault?

    Love and her husband Dreus give these tips:

    Your kids need to hear it from you

    You have to tell them verbally that it’s not their fault. “Tell them, ‘meron kaming hindi pagkakaunawaan,’" says Dreus. “If there’s another thing we learned from Danish way of parenting, it is to never underestimate the capacity of kids to understand.”

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    Your actions matter

    Apart from telling your kids that they are not to blame, you have to show it in your actions too, says Love.

    “Pwede na sinasabi natin sa mga bata na, 'Hindi naman ikaw.' Pero pag nandu'n tayo sa boiling point natin, pwede na 'yung actions will speak otherwise. So, you really have to be intentional, both sa words and actions.”

    Remind your kids they are loved

    Your kids will need constant assurance of your love to make them feel secure. "And, kung kaya talaga, connect them still with their mother or father, kung nasaan man siyan side napunta,” Dreus says.

    Never pass the hurt

    Each parent needs to stop the cycle of fighting or blaming so their children will not repeat it when it is their turn to be in a relationship.

    “We always say na pwedeng galing ka sa broken family but you still have the capacity and the power to create a beautiful family,” concludes Love.

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