Hi there, welcome back and thanks for joining us again. We’ve been looking at all the different tools and strategies available to parents these days, whose kids need help working through the divorce. It can be a very challenging time for a family, and kids seem to have the hardest time. But you’re not alone, and it’s entirely possible that your kids can come out the other side stronger, better equipped to handle conflict, and more able to share their feelings.
So here is a basic list of strategies that many divorcing parents have found helpful while supporting their children through the divorce process. Not all of them may work for you or your kids, but hopefully there’s at least one on this list that helps your kids process their feelings, and helps you connect better with them while their work through the challenge.
Tools to put in your ‘divorcing parent’ tool box:
One of the hardest things for kids to do when they’re struggling, is to talk about their feelings. Many children whose families are going through divorce experience guilt, fear, anxiety and anger, but don’t know how to express them. Parents can try encouraging their children to share their feelings, by creating a non-judgemental and safe space where they can share their feelings. However, if talking is hard for you, or your child is unwilling to talk to you, you might consider therapy or counseling for your child.
Art as therapy:
Art can be a wonderful tool for expressing emotions that are hard to convey otherwise. For children in particular, when their vocabularies are still developing, art offers an outlet that is free from the constraints of sentence structure and grammar rules. So when drawing pictures with your child, focus on how they’re feeling and allows them to express themselves in a positive way. If your child is struggling to come up with ideas to draw, try suggesting subjects like a picture of what your feelings look like, or what your two homes will be like. If they don’t like to draw, try a coloring book with positive messages in the pictures.
Mindful movement is a great way to process negative emotions like frustration and grief. So getting your kids moving will go a long way towards helping them work through their feelings during your divorce. If your child already plays a sport, or engages in a physical activity like cross country, encourage them to keep it up. If they don’t, now may be a good time to introduce ways to get them moving. Physical activity can also provide ways for you to be together. Consider walking, bike riding, yoga or swimming. They all provide a great outlet for physical energy, promote dopamine production in the brain (the happy hormone), and allow for opportunities for you and your child to be together.
Divorce is a difficult time for kids. They struggle with feeling responsible for the break up of their families, and often internalize the pain in a very personal way. For this reason they need extra quality time, extra affection, and extra consolation from you. If your kids are younger, make a point of snuggling during movies, reading stories, playing games or spending time at the park. With older kids, make a point of reminding them you love them, and make time to be available to talk if they want it. Walk the dog together, work out together, or binge watch your favorite movies on the weekend. Whatever works, just make sure you’re reinforcing to them how important they are in your life, and how much you love them, no matter what.
Divorce is hard, but you can survive this and come out stronger!
Thanks for sticking with us while we broke down our list of tools for divorcing parents. We know this is a challenging time for you and your family, and you’re likely to hit some rough spots along the way. But don’t give up. And don’t lose hope. Many families have survived divorces and gone on to have stronger relationships and happier futures. You can do the same.
If you have questions about the divorce process, or need help help with any aspect of your divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today.Our experienced family law attorneys have been helping the people of Michigan for decades with custody, alimony, property separation and even PPOs. We can help you too.