Many kids believe they have something to do with their parents divorce. That it’s their fault. They think back about when they argued with their parents, received bad grades, or got in trouble. If this is something you’re child is experiencing, a few tips below can help your kid let go of the misconception.
It’s important to …
- Find out. Find out what your kid is thinking and feeling. What are the reasons they might feel guilt or it’s their fault? When you find out do your best to sooth him.
- Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce. Sometimes hearing the real reasons for your decision can help. But also be age aware!
- Be patient. Kids may seem to “get it” one day and be unsure the next. Treat your child’s confusion with patience. Sometimes hearing it more than once will reassure your child and finally start to make sense.
We all want reassurance and love right?
As often as you need to, remind your children that they’re not responsible for the divorce and both parents will continue to love them and.
Also, keep in mind young people have a great ability to bounce back and heal when they have the support and love to move forward. Your words, actions, and ability to offer consistent love are especially important when changes are happening.
Some ideas to consider which can help are …
- Change isn’t all bad. It’ll be okay. Talking to your kids about change is never easy; there’s a good chance they’ll become very emotional, especially when the family physically moves a part. But, again, reassure them it’s still very possible to continue to have healthy, loving relationships with everyone in the family, mainly both parents. Knowing this can provide incentive for your kids to give a new situation a chance.
- Offer closeness. Physical closeness—in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity—has a powerful way of showing your child you love them.
- Be authentic. Kids will raise concerns or anxieties. It’s best to respond truthfully, respectfully, and with patience. If you don’t know the answer, say you’re not sure right now, but you’ll find out and it will be okay.
It is your goal to help your children avoid as much pain and stress as possible. What can you do better?
Be a better role model and manage your emotions.
- Why it’s important? – Your children look to you for which way to go in life. They will model your behaviors and thoughts. Teach them positive things they can take with them along life.
- Know what you’re saying – Be aware of what you say in front of your kids about the other parent or about people in general. “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all”.
- Work on it – It should be a priority to develop a civil relationship with your ex. Your kids watching you be friendly can reassure them and teach them how to problem solve.
- Making good decisions that benefit the children – Take care of yourself – Life will be better. Do you get enough sleep? Sleep is a vital part of any person functioning. It’s a necessity for good emotional and physical health. If you’re not getting enough sleep try taking a nap during the day if you can.
- Day dream – visualize a more satisfying life with your kids. Or just do anything you’ll look forward to!
- Therapy isn’t just for crazy people – Everyone can benefit from therapy. You can learn a lot about yourself and family helping you through the challenges. It can be a place where you can feel safe and free of judgment.
Another idea which I think can help you with your divorce challenges is with a quote by Harriot Learner, from her book The Dance of Anger, which I also think can sum up the reason why people have a lot of divorce issues. Learner says,
“The problem is that there is a long term cost. All the unresolved emotional intensity is likely to get played out in another important relationship, such as that with a spouse, a lover, or, if we ourselves are parents, a child”.
Our past can prevent us from being the best people we can be. It can limit our ability to love or move forward in new or present relationships.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Also, find more info at TeenageSons.com.