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Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

Recently we have received several calls from parents who are struggling with divorce and are concerned about the effects it has on their kids. If you’ve been through a divorce, nobody needs to tell you how tough it can be to manage the intense and often conflicting feelings involved. Loneliness, guilt, anger, anxiety, sadness, and confusion create an emotional stew that can make raising respectful and responsible kids feel overwhelming, if not impossible.

Here are five practical goals that can dramatically increase the odds that you can succeed in helping your kids grow up to be respectful, responsible adults.

  • Continue to Provide the Anchor of Loving Discipline.
    Don’t let guilt lead you down the path toward permissive parenting! When kids are exposed to divorce, they need loving limits and loving accountability even more.
  • Avoid Un-Winnable Battles over Your Ex-Spouse’s Parenting Style.
    The next time your kids or your former spouse accuse you of being a crummy parent, listen with empathy and encourage them to tell you more. As crazy as this sounds, it’ll take the wind out of their sails if you can remain sincere.
  • Stay Rooted by Clarifying Your Core Values.
    Staying focused on what you believe will help you stay firm when you’re tempted to do something foolish.
  • Let Your Child's Relationship with Their Other Parent be Their Own.
    There’s a major epidemic of parents trying to alienate their children from their former spouse. This is child abuse; learn the warning signs.
  • Help Your Children Grieve by Allowing Them to Grieve.
    Divorce represents a major loss. One key to helping kids grieve requires allowing them to feel what they are going to feel instead of trying to make everything okay. When people are hurting, they need a listening ear and lots of empathy.

The best gift you can give your children is the gift of taking good care of yourself in loving and unselfish ways. Remember: Children learn the biggest lessons about coping with adversity by seeing how their parents do it. For more tips on how to help your kids cope with divorce, listen to our MP3 audio, Love and Logic: Keys to Helping Kids Cope with Divorce.

 

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

Love and Logic: Keys to Helping Kids Cope with Divorce