1) Divorce or Separation
Some, especially children find it very hard for parents to go separate ways and decide to end their marriage. It is understandable, considering that a child is expected to feel the warmth of a complete family and is attached to both parents. But, if these things are being considered, your children deserve your utmost honesty regarding the matter. Lay everything out on the table and answer their questions regarding the separation. You need to keep calm and compose yourself and you will have to understand that there might be instances where children will start to blame themselves. Reassure them of your love despite the decision. And always maintain a civil treatment towards each other that the kids will not show a lack of respect to either of you, as parents. Set the new rules and be consistent. After all, they will get used to it if you were able to explain to them in a very honest, open, and loving way.
2) Terminal Illness
Regardless of whoever in the family is affected with a life-threatening disease, everyone in the family would find it very difficult to accept and cope with. However, keeping everyone informed about the adjustments and lifestyle changes needed in dealing with this illness will be helpful to everyone concerned. Reassurance is also needed among everyone that will love them and help take care of each other during this time. Explain and answer their questions about the illness to avoid any misconceptions resulting in unnecessary stress, worry, or even depression.
3) Financial Problems
In this case, your children might see the changes in the way of living in comparison to how you treat life when your finances are good. Let them know about the current financial situation and the changes they will have to take. Give them an opportunity to share insights as to where to cut cost and save money in their own little way. This allows the child to become responsible in handling their activities and allowances too, if any. Don’t forget to remind them that you will always be there to support them no matter the financial status you are currently experiencing.
4) Moving to a new home or school
There are a lot of reasons why we have to move to a new home, or our child have to be transferred to a new school and either way, both situations can cause anxiety and stress to kids. Having new classmates, meeting a new neighbourhood, or having to deal with new and unfamiliar people and places in general. In this case, you must prepare them ahead of time about the transition. Be openly communicative to their concerns and allow them to cope in a way that suits them. Ask them what they think or how they feel about it and be emphatic of the changes too and the adjustments they are making.
5) New Sibling or Incoming baby
It is normal for kids to feel jealous of the new addition to the family. They feel like they will be dethroned in their rightful places as the prince or princess of the house and that their parent’s attention might be divided. Even if you feel overjoyed about the coming baby, understand that it may be difficult for the kids to cope with. Set a time to spend for recreational activities with them and validate their feelings so that they will be ready for the additional family member. Always, always empower them and let them get involved in taking care of their new sibling. Be patient and understanding and make sure they are not excluded from this wonderful event.
Being emotionally overwhelmed with these difficult situations and stressful life events is no joke, not just to your kids, but to you, as parents. It is always better to know, be honest, upfront and be informed when things in life try to knock us down. Getting back up and being resilient in dealing with tough situations will help us grow into a person of strength and great character. Teaching your children young, helping them learn resilience and how to take control over their emotions so they can best deal with life’s up and downs, twist and turns, will empower them and give them the strength to continue through life’s journey.