I’m not gonna lie. Separation and divorce is hard. It’s comes with a myriad of horrible feelings and immense challenges. But if like me, you’re well into your single mum life, you will notice there are some silver linings. One of which is that I believe it has made my children closer to one another.
Of course, not everyone will find this because every family, every child and every separation is unique. However, if you are separated and have noticed your children getting on exceptionally well, it might be for one of these reasons.
Why my kid’s get on better since we divorced
THEY ARE EACH OTHER’S CONSTANT
For siblings who have parents going through a divorce, the world is an ever-changing place. What they thought was solid, may now feel shifting. It is a scary time for children.
Changes include their parents living separately, alongside possible new homes and schools.
Throughout these changes (and dependent on their ages) they will have one constant: their siblings.
Whether it’s a new house, a new school, a new way of parenting or a new atmosphere between their parents, they have their brother or sisters beside them going through a very similar experience.
Not only is this a much-needed certainty, but it will help them feel less alone.
Children might not understand the importance of this at the time but the stability of sibling-hood creates a safe and familiar space during unpredictable times.
THEY DON’T NEED TO REDEFINE THEIR SIBLING RELATIONSHIP
Mum and Dad are no longer in the same picture. Even if they are both still in their lives, it is rarely at the same time.
For this reason, even young children need to re-define their relationship with each parent. This is a natural transition when a family splits up … a transition we, as mums, try very hard to them with.
Throughout all this, the relationships they have with their siblings remained unchanged.
Even sibling rivalry can feel comforting because it is what they are used to. Yes, Mum and Dad may have separated but younger sisters are still annoying and big brothers are still disgusting … but that is normal and ‘normal’ is good.
ONLY THEY KNOW WHAT THE OTHER IS EXPERIENCING
Although we will do literally anything to smooth the path of divorce for our children, we don’t always know what they are experiencing, and as parents, we can be the last people they want to share with!
According to Our Family Wizard:
“Divorce is a difficult topic of conversation for parents and children alike. Pretty much every child in a divorced family situation does not want to hear their parents talking about it, much less talk about it with their parents.”
So, who better to talk to, than a sibling who is on the same journey?
Just knowing they are not alone and one other person is having the same experience can make kindred spirits of your kids.
THEY LEARN TOOLS TO CREATE POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Being witness to their parents separation comes with a heap of emotions but it also comes with lots of lessons.
Your children will witness how you cope with conflict, they will see what works and what doesn’t. It is a real-life tutorial on the importance of respect and amicability – how to show it and how it can affect a situation or conversation.
Alongside this, while they experience emotional challenges, often beyond their years, they will develop empathy which is super important in any sibling relationship.
They will fill up their toolbox with skills to create healthy relationships with the people around them, starting with those closest … their siblings.
Further reading: The positive impact of divorce on children.
THEY CAN PLAY THE GAME TOGETHER
We might not want to admit it but children of divorce, especially those living between homes, learn how to play their parents! They learn what works with one may not work with another and they use it to their advantage to get the best of both worlds.
Surely this is one of the good things about having separated parents!
Pulling together and sharing knowledge as they navigate their childhood and teen years as a team means they will rely on one another more and become closer than ever.
Further reading: How not to get played by your kids post divorce.
END NOTE: THE IMPORTANCE OF YOU SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS DURING DIVORCE
Amongst the mayhem that your is your separation, don’t forget to help nurture your siblings relationships with one another.
This scholarly article from Smiths ScholarWorks: Surviving The Divorce : The power of the Sibling Relationship explains:
“Positive sibling relationships have the potential to help children and adolescents cope with and adjust to parental divorce as sources of comfort, stability, and support in times of familial stress and change.”
Never is there a better time to encourage your children to get on with one another!