Rejection is a painful experience that is hard to manage. It comes with uncomfortable feelings and painful thoughts, and it’s an experience that many members of the family might feel during the divorce between parents. Rejection might certainly be a feeling that each parent feels, and it can be experience felt by older children as well.
For the most part, children between infancy and the age of 4 years old, won’t feel rejection. Instead, what will impact them is change in their daily routine, if that takes place. Children at this age are developing in a way that requires regular schedules of eating, sleeping, and playing. A change in that routine can affect their development. Another primary contributor to a child’s development is their attachments to their parents. If there is a change in the frequency of time with one or both parents, that can also significantly affect a child. For instance, if a three year old sees mom everyday and then after the divorce only once per week, that could be significant.
Children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old will understand the concept of divorce. However, they will tend to think that the divorce has something to do with them. They might blame themselves or believe that they cause the fighting or that something they said prompted the separation. This isn’t an experience of rejection per se, but parents can ease by this letting their children know that they are not responsible for the divorce. Continue reading
Often when friends and family find out that a couple is getting a divorce, the first question asked is “What about the children?”
It’s true that children can feel the impact of the divorce in a strong way, perhaps because it’s often a surprise for them. Although the parents themselves might have been talking about it for awhile, attending couples counseling, and reviewing the health of their relationship, children don’t find out about their parents separation until the decision has been made. For this reason, the following tips are meant to help protect children during the challenging experience of a family separation.
1. Stay consistent. Children need stability to anchor them during times of stress and challenge. When parents are consistent in the way they relate to their children, including in the way they discipline and reward their children, it can keep life feeling familiar. Another way to stay consistent is to continue with the same schedules for bedtime, meals, and school. When life feels consistent, children feel safe. Continue reading
A splitting of the family is a big deal. Everyone involved has feelings. Everyone involved has thoughts and fears and anxieties that have to do with the divorce and what it’s going to look like when the divorce is final. What is it going to be like after the family has split?
Sure, these may be fears of the parents themselves, but it’s also a significant contributor to the children’s anxieties as well. Nonetheless, divorcing parents seem to get their children involved in the divorce in a way that’s often too intimate for them to bear. The following are five mistakes that parents make with their children when they are going through a divorce.
Making Your Children the Messenger
Often, divorcing parents do not know how to communicate with one another. They might have a strong need to say something to their spouse but can’t find the right time since communication can be limited. When parents are with their children, they might be tempted to use the opportunity to tell their children what they really want to say to their spouse. Or worse, they may use their children as messengers to tell the other parent what they want to say. Continue reading