Children look to their parents for stability, routine, and love. When the parents’ marriage breaks down, children react to this sudden change in their family structure in numerous ways. Parents who want to help their children through this change and continue to provide the love and support their kids desire should first learn what children experience during divorce.
Blame and Guilt
When kids first learn that their parents are getting divorced, they often blame themselves and wonder if they have done something to cause the break up of the marriage. They may think that because they disobeyed or failed to clean up their room that they somehow contributed to the divorce.
When they have convinced themselves that they are to blame, at least to some degree, children may also feel guilty. They may think that if they had just behaved better or somehow acted differently that their parents may still want to be together.
Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a family can go through. This is especially true if there are children involved.It is important to realize that just as no two people are alike, no two families are alike. Therefore, there are several strategies that might prove helpful to you or your family during a difficult transitional time in your life. Here are a few tips to help foster healing:
1.Encourage Honest Discussions
If there are children involved in the divorce, it is always best to encourage open discussions in an environment that is calm and safe. Each member of the family should feel as if he or she has the freedom to express unique feelings and concerns about the matter. Children should have the opportunity to address each other as well as the parents. During these conversations, it is important that adult conflicts are left off the table, and the main focus be meeting the needs of each family member during the change.
- Be Open to Resistance
It is very likely that your children will show signs of despair, anger, confusion, or any combination of emotion during this time. The best quality to exhibit in this case is patience. Be open to listening to all of your child’s concerns and worries. Just as your world is changing, so is your child’s, and often he or she is not able to see immediately the bigger picture. Continue reading
The teen years are tough enough without going through a major trauma, so it is important to recognize the impact divorce can have on a teenager when the storm hits. Here are a few ways to help your teen cope with the divorce of their parents.
Understand that a teenager needs time to process what is going on and will have a full range of emotions to go through. Be patient and allow them the opportunity to express themselves. Give them the flexibility of swinging from one emotion to another as they figure out how to deal with their new reality with the assurance that they are loved unconditionally. Continue reading
When you’re in the middle of a divorce, it might be hard to also tend to the emotional needs of your children. They are certainly going to feel the effects of the separation, especially if the divorce between you and your spouse is a tumultuous one.
There are some basic tips to keep in mind when relating to your children, and they are listed below. However, this article will also address the ways that you can seek outside assistance and it will provide some of those resources.
But first, you should remember the following:
1. Stay consistent with your children’s schedule as best you can. If you were driving them to school, do your best to keep it that way. The less interruptions children experience in their schedule the better. 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