Divorce is never easy – especially when children are involved. Experts tell HollyBaby.com how the famous parents can best explain their separation to their son. Exclusive!
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz shocked us all when they announced their spit yesterday (Feb 9). While it’s sad that they were unable to make their marriage work, they now have to work hard to ensure that the divorce doesn’t affect their 2-year-old son, Bronx. “They will have to put their own disagreements out of earshot of Bronx and act as a unified and agreeable front for him,” says relationship expert, Dr. Gilda Carle. Easier said than done, right HollyMoms?
“They way they behave now will determine their child’s mental health later,” explains Dr. Carle. “They must recognize that he’s an innocent byproduct of what they once had, and that his interests must be foremost before their own.”
According to Los Angeles based Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, Dr. Jenn Berman, Ashlee, 26, and Pete, 31, must spend an equal amount of time with Bronx right now. “It’s very important that he is able to see both parents as much as possible,” she tells HollyBaby.com.
And during that time they have to explain to him in simple terms exactly what is happening to their family unit. “They must let the child now how much they love him and that Mommy and Daddy have a new plan because they are no longer going to be living together. “ Dr. Berman stresses the importance of keeping Bronx on the same schedule because consistency is the key to getting him through their divorce.
“I recommend parents make a book, either on a photo website or by hand, for young children that explains what is different and what will be the same,” says Dr. Berman.
Ashlee and Pete should expect Bronx to regress a bit, he may not want to sleep through the night or suddenly have toilet training troubles and there is a good chance that he’ll start throwing tantrums.
“This is a very difficult transition for children. They will need to work with his age, development and level of separation anxiety to figure out the best way to move forward. Also, play is one of the best ways for children to work through their feelings,” she explains.
If they follow this advice, Ashlee and Pete, who want joint custody, can ensure that their boy adjusts his new life bouncing between parents.
HollyMoms, if you’ve been through divorce, what advice do you have for the estranged couple?