Divorce takes a child's normal and flips it upside down. There is more research today available about the impact of divorce on kids than when my parents divorced when I was 10. "Helping Your kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way" is THE best resource I have found for parents as they navigate their way through parenting after divorce.
Many parents worry about the kids and want to do what is best for the kids, but they struggle with dealing with their own emotions about with the changes in their lives.
David John Berndt reminds us that "parenting is a lifelong job...you don't divorce your kids." If you are considering divorce, going through one, or know someone who is, we suggest you read this week as we share tips that will help your kids deal with real and/ or imagined problems they face going through divorce.
Tip #1- Stay Consistent
Kids going through divorce are dealing with a world of change. It is important for you to minimize some changes to help them feel stable.
Simple things that are easier to stay consistent with are: bedtimes, meals, chores, daily routines, etc. Also be sure to discipline and reward your kids the same as you did before the divorce. This will help kids know that YOU haven't changed just because you got divorced. It feels safer to them to have things feel familiar.
Some change will be out of your control. Moving, school changes, and splitting time might be inevitable. But do your best to reduce the amount of change, at least in the beginning to help them establish a new normal.
Also be sure not to lie to your kids about upcoming changes because you don't want them to worry. If you aren't sure, or aren't ready to tell them, simply say, "I don't know what all the details look like about that yet, but I will let you know as soon as I have it figured out." Also don't make promises you can't keep. This will cause trust issues for your kids, which will create more instability.
Read tomorrow for more tips!
Source: David John Berndt, Ph.D. www.divorcesource.com
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.