Divorce is an emotional roller coaster for a child. During this delicate time in your child's life, they are trying to sort through various emotions that they may not have experience with yet. Anger, frustration, guilt and abandonment are all now playing roles in their minds and they might not have to tools necessary to deal with them. Now, more than ever, it is up to you and your soon-to-be ex spouse to pull together in order to ensure your child's emotional needs are being met. Below is a list of creative ways you can help your child transition from a two parent household to living at separate locations.
Whether your child spends the majority of time with you or your spouse, it is important to keep an open line of communication open. You child needs to know that you are there just as much now as you were then. It's going to be difficult to tend to your child's every emotional need now that you are not living under the same roof, but it is still possible.
Become a pen pal with your child. Writing letters back and forth is a creative way to keep that line of communication open. Not only will letters become something that your child will look forward to, it will also remind them that you are there for them no matter what. Taking the time to write a letter will prove to your child that they are still important and just as loved as they were before.
Because emotions run so high during a divorce, a child will not know how to let out some of the anger and frustration they are feeling. These pent up feelings will often come out in bouts of anger and emotional breakdowns. You will even notice a complete change in their attitude. It is important that you do not lash out at your child when you begin to notice these behaviors. Crying and yelling are a child's way of letting you know that they need help coping with the situation.
Going for daily runs will provide your child the positive outlet they need in order to get out their frustration in a healthy manner. Activities, such as jogging or swimming, will release happy endorphins into your child's brain. It will relieve the high stress levels that they are feeling every day. Exercising will also give you and your child one on one time so that you can talk productively about any concerns they have.
Share A Journal
Communication is key when you are helping your child cope with a divorce. Having a shared journal will help in this process. A shared journal is a journal that you and your child both write in. While your child is staying over at the other parent's house, give them a journal that they can write in to record their thoughts and feelings. When they return, you can record your thoughts and concerns as well.
When it is your turn to write in the journal, consider writing encouragements to them. Let them know how proud you are of them and what you are proud of. Write about their strengths and how much they have grown during the process. Reading your thoughts will help your child to know that they are going to be okay regardless of the chaos that may be going on around them.
Children always take it the hardest when there is a divorce. Everything they once knew is now upside down and they don't know how to cope with it by themselves. By using the tips listed above, you will be able to communicate more effectively with your child and help them to cope with this delicate situation. Contact a custody lawyer, such as J. Scott Braden, for more tips.Share