The focus of this series in on ways that divorced parents can develop positive co parenting relationships, which make the process of parenting children with an ex-partner much easier for everyone involved, especially the children. Having discussed the importance of not undermining your ex in front of your kids, structuring parent to parent communications and making your values and expectations known, we are moving on to the next item…
Getting Professional Help
There was a day and age when “getting professional help” was viewed as an admission of failure. The stigma attached to seeing a therapist, or sending your kids to a therapist, left a lot of people in positions where they needed help but were too ashamed to get it. Not any more! Thank goodness those days are over, and most people are willing to admit that they need help nowadays. Because no one is perfect and everyone needs a hand with struggles every now and then.
Children are affected by divorce in a multitude of different ways. Behavioral issues, acting out, sudden bouts of clinginess, depression, bed wetting, uncontrollable crying, these are all possibilities, especially with younger children. Seeking out some assistance in how to navigate this period of adjustment can only make the process simpler for everyone involved. Which is a very important factor to consider – everyone involved.
Divorce is time consuming and emotionally exhausting. It can drain you and leave you feeling empty and wrestling with feelings of loss and anger. This can make parenting even harder, as you have fewer emotional reserves to draw from when your kids are struggling, and when you think about it, they are very likely to struggle. After all, their family is breaking up and they are helpless to stop it.
Divorce is very hard on kids, so they are going to need more of you during this transition. More time, more compassion, more willingness to allow them to work out their frustrations in the only ways they know how. All in all, this can be very hard in the midst of a divorce, and so it may be that the best option for everyone in your household if you sought out some professional help.
Whether that means getting a therapist you can talk to yourself, or putting your kids into counseling, or both, it will likely make the process easier for you. While your kids may resist talking to a therapist at first, it could ultimately help you in addressing some of their emotional and behavioral issues that develop during and after the divorce. It could also help you to create strategies for dealing with your ex when the two of you don’t agree on parenting issues.
If nothing else, a professional can help you develop some strategies for helping them cope with their stress, and help you to handle your negative feelings in a more positive way. This will help make handling your kid’s struggles easier, and provide you with a healthy outlet for your anger and frustrations, which will make you more emotionally available to them when they need you most. By providing you with a safe environment where you can vent your frustrations about your ex, while helping you develop methods for overcoming those stressors, everyone involved will be helped to overcome challenges during this difficult time.
Join us next time when we will be wrapping this series up with our last item on the list of how to build a positive co-parenting relationship after divorce – creating a good support network.