Other adults can be resources for both you and your children. As soon as the separation occurs, it is important that you inform your children’s teachers so that they may be prepared for any change in behavior that may occur. Have the teachers keep an eye on your children. Inform your children’s friends’ parents, as well, so they can keep in mind that your children will be undergoing many changes and stressors. They can be an extra pair of ears, eyes, and a sympathetic presence. You may also want to inquire about possible support groups at your children’s school for children with divorcing parents. These groups tend not to carry a social stigma anymore, and are helpful in creating a place for children to share their experiences with other children who have recently undergone a similar change. Sharing stories, thoughts, and feelings can be invaluable to the process that you and your children will undergo. Self-help groups for children and parents are proven effective for creating a sense of community during a lonely and stressful time for people who desire support, but don’t need or want therapy. Click here for an article on creating joy in kids.
Will My Children Be Okay in a Divorced Family?
Parents often ask the question “will my children be disadvantaged being raised in a divorced family?” One of the benefits of a divorced family is that your children are no longer exposed to the tension and conflict that marked their experience of living with both parents. Children’s responses to their new status is often dependent upon how the parents view their new status. If you as parent have a positive view of the future, this will significantly help your children adjust to and accept the new situation. Your children will have an early introduction to the emotional effects of loss and separation. This can cause long lasting pain and insecurity. However, it also can be a valuable learning experience that will help them build resilience to life transitions and hardships. Children in divorced families have the opportunity to learn that relationships change, that their parents also change over time. Your experience may also show your children that they need not accept a circumstance in which they are unhappy, abused, or feel empty, that they can effect change in their lives for the better. Click here for more tips on helping children with divorce.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/.
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