Divorce is never easy, whether you’re the child or the parent. It can be very disruptive to your life, family, and child’s mental health. Your child will be going through many emotions, especially if they are younger.
They’ll be going through anger, sadness, and uncertainty about how the future will work out for them. You can help your child overcome these issues and thrive after divorce.
Signs Your Child is Struggling
Your child might be anxious and withdrawn or have disruptive behavior, poor self-esteem, and poor performance in school. They might also lack interest in activities they previously enjoyed, have angry outbursts, or have sleep disturbances.
Whenever your child is dealing with a divorce, there are things you can do to help them move through the process as positively as possible.
7 Tips For Raise a Mentally Strong Child
These tips can help you raise a mentally strong child after going through a divorce:
Communication is the key to any relationship, not just the ones with your children. Your child needs to know you are there for them if you communicate with them and with each other. Ideally, you should also share their feelings and yours with them. Your ex-spouse and yourself need to let the children know that you both will always be there for them no matter what.
It is impossible to hide your feelings from your kids because they can tell when something is up, so let them know how you think of it all and reassure them that everything will be okay. Also, let them know that even though things might seem like they are changing now, they will eventually get used to it all, and things will go back to normal again after a while (it may take time, but finally, everything will be okay).
And finally, you should always talk about what divorce means and how this affects everyone involved in this situation, especially when it comes down to how these events may affect their own lives in one way or another (and maybe even more than once).
You can help your kids feel secure by providing structure. The structure is different from the routine. With routine, you plan everything and aim to do the same things each day simultaneously. For example, you might teach your kids to brush their teeth after breakfast every morning before school begins. It provides a sense of predictability for your children and helps them feel comfortable about what will happen next.
The structure is different; it’s more flexible, so there are more opportunities for problem solving and creativity. Kids need both predictability and flexibility. As they age, they need to become more independent, so they’ll be able to make choices and solve problems on their own someday. When you provide structure and routine in your household, you’re teaching them how to do this without being too controlling or restrictive (which is what many divorced parents mistakenly try to do).
Accept that your child may blame you, and be prepared with a response.
Children may feel as if they are the reason for the divorce, and some of them might even blame one parent or the other. Do not take it personally if your child accuses you (or her father). Don’t try to convince her that she’s wrong.
Don’t punish her for feeling that way, either. Instead, be prepared with a response that teaches your child how to manage difficult emotions in healthy ways. You might say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Or, “It’s okay to feel sad about it.”
Make sure your kids know you’re on the same team.
You both need to remain united as a team and make sure your kids see that. Although you are no longer together, in your children’s eyes, you will always be their parents, so they must understand that you both still love them.
Don’t put your kids in the middle or get them involved by asking them to choose sides or talk about things one parent says about the other. If you have disagreements, don’t discuss them before your kids, regardless of whether you think they’re listening.
If one parent is stricter than the other, try not to let this lead to a tug-of-war where the child learns they can play one parent against another. Ensure there are no mixed signals: If a rule is supposed to be followed at home, it should also be observed when visiting with the other parent. Children must have consistency in following rules because it instills predictability and creates security when everything else seems chaotic during a divorce.
Remember that your kids are resilient.
As a parent, one of the biggest concerns you’ll have is how your child will be affected by your divorce. While some kids may take it better than others, it’s important to remember that children are resilient creatures and eventually bounce back.
Additionally, keep in mind that not all kids experience divorce the same way. The impact of a divorce can vary based on the child’s temperament, how conflicted their parents were in the marriage, and how they see themselves about their parents.
While some kids may show you, they are struggling through this time, others may not let on and could suffer silently throughout the entire process. While it is essential to be prepared for any child’s reaction during this time, try not to worry too much as most children will be fine in the long run. However, if they need help during the process or beyond it, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help right away!
Focus on the positive things.
Additionally, it may be beneficial for your child to see you and your ex-spouse working together in an attempt at helping them through this hardship. This can be a positive experience for them and can help to keep them from feeling disappointed with the divorce.
Encourage healthy relationships with both parents.
When parents divorce, they should encourage their children to maintain a healthy relationship with them. You may be tempted to avoid seeing your ex or only see your ex when the kids are around so you can limit your interactions with them. However, it is vital for children to have a healthy relationship with both parents and for each parent to be involved in the child’s life.
It would be best if you didn’t ask your child to do things for you that they would typically do for the other parent. If your child stays at their mom’s house during summer break, let them handle things like getting their school registration information sent out. Don’t make them act as a go-between. Screening calls from you and letting you know when it’s okay for them to talk on the phone with you.
Children must regularly see and hear from both parents whether they live in two different houses.
Having learned what to look out for, how can you ensure your child is mentally strong?
First and foremost, it’s essential to realize that a divorce does not need to negatively influence your children or negatively impact their future mental health. Children are resilient and able to overcome almost any obstacle if they have the support of caring and loving parents. As long as you provide a supportive environment and ensure your child feels safe, loved, and protected, there’s no reason why they cannot grow up to be happy and healthy after divorce.
It’s certainly not an easy task. During a divorce, one of the best things you can do for your child protects them from your arguments with your ex-spouse. Ensure they feel safe in both homes by working with your ex-spouse, so they know what rules to follow in each household.
The most important thing is that both parents work together for the benefit of their children; when parents work as allies instead of opponents, it ensures a stable environment where children can flourish regardless of their family situation.