How to explain to a child that he is temporarily unable to see dad?

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“When will dad come?” – the four-year-old son constantly asks. He was just getting used to a new lifestyle after the divorce. Now his stressful state due to the lack of walking and movement is aggravated by the fact that his son yearns for his father. I don’t know how to explain to a child that dad does not come due to quarantine. We decided to say that he had left, but soon he would definitely return and everything would be the same. However, the son is afraid that dad will disappear from his life forever. “

Many parents who do not live together now face such problems. Experts advise to honestly answer all questions of children.

“It is better not to conceal the truth, and even more so not to talk about the long-term departure of the parent – this can further traumatize the child,” says psychologist Marina Miaus. – In a conversation with him, honesty is the best policy.

It is possible in an accessible form, calmly and without thickening the paint, to tell about the true reason for what is happening, the existence of viruses in nature and how to deal with them. This is a good occasion to talk to your child again about the importance of hygiene and show you how to wash your hands properly. “

When we stop fighting reality, it is easier for us to accept our own feelings and the feelings of the child.

Even if former spouses could not boast of good relations, now, for the sake of children, it is important to overcome conflicts and start acting together.

First of all, discuss whether there is a possibility of a personal meeting with the child. If distance walks are allowed in your country, you may want to consider accommodating your toddler’s desire to see dad.

If you can’t walk, you should make up for the communication via video communication. Let talking with dad become familiar to the child. If he knows in advance when to expect a call, life will again seem stable to him. The way you will have new traditions: dad reads a book at night or talks to the child in the afternoon. However, all this will be possible only if the parents agree among themselves.

“The conditions for divorce are different for everyone,” recalls the gestalt therapist Daria Petrovskaya. – Someone sees the child almost every day, someone every week or once a month. It is important to take these agreements into account during the quarantine period.

If you want to change the number and schedule of online meetings, and the other party does not agree, it is better not to aggravate the situation. When we stop struggling with reality, it is easier for us to accept our own feelings and the feelings of the child. “

During a period of turbulence, the child relies on the parent, looks at how adults overcome difficulties, although it is not easy for them

During the day, you can play with toys scenes of meeting with dad and other loved ones, grandparents, from whom the children are separated. Initiate games that transform toys into family members. Remind your child that he will soon see all the people he loves, but for now you need to figure out how fun they will spend time together and what they can play.

Uncertainty anxiety, health and well-being concerns inevitably affect the way parents feel about themselves. Therefore, it is important to remember the first rule of adult behavior on the plane: first put on a mask on yourself, and only then on the child. Be calm and don’t panic. This behavior of the parent will help the child to feel that nothing threatens his world.

“A positive attitude towards a situation when a child believes that he will cope with everything together with his family, and begins to be interested in more global things, is laid down through the parental figure and is called basic trust in the world,” says Daria Petrovskaya. – During a period of turbulence, the child relies on the parent, looks at how adults overcome difficulties, although it is not easy for them. This strengthens the child’s belief that he can cope. “

About experts

Daria Petrovskaya

Daria Petrovskaya – Gestalt therapist.

Marina Myaus

Marina Myaus – cognitive therapist, family psychologist.

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