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“My parents are humans, too. This has been one of my greatest awakenings in adulthood: my parents being regular people, too. They have baggage and losses, have grown up in imperfect homes with imperfect families, just as I did.

Life hasn’t been easy on either of them between the mixture of poor decisions and bad breaks; this world lacks perfection for us all.”

Natalie Brenner

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How to Help a Child with Divorce

Helping a child through divorce demands more attention, more patience and more wisdom. The challenge is that while you as a parent are the primary care-givers, the child feels conflicted between the two parents. In business terms we would call it a conflict of interest. Children experience this as ‘Split Loyalties’. The emotional split loyalties based on a lifetime of attachments are experienced by these little people as guilt, shame, confusion and anger. An online therapist is the perfect person to help navigate the complex and confusing emotions that parents often have difficulty doing effectively. Parents must try to understand that the more one disparages their ex the more the children will experience emotional pain.

Effects of Divorce on Children’s Behaviour

It is important to be more diligent in speaking regularly with your child after a separation and divorce. Watch for signs of difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns, anger, anxiety, depression or isolating. Check in with them often and encourage when necessary to connect with an online therapist who can be a safe sounding board and mentor to guide them through this major life event.

How to Discuss Divorce with Your Child

Children are intelligent and often have known for quite a while that their mom and dad have not been getting along. It is important to have these difficult but honest conversations with them together, with both parents present. The most important thing is to let them know that the decision to divorce has nothing to do with them. You might let them know that sometimes parents get along better when not living together. An online therapist can be the anchor for these very difficult conversations.

How to Deal with an Angry Child After Divorce

Remember that your child’s anger is their way of trying to make things go back to normal. A parent can be very helpful if they can be more responsive and less reactive to a child’s anger. Try to understand that it is extremely difficult for a child to split the foundations of their security. They may feel like they have one foot on the dock and the other on the drifting canoe. They are scared and are being stretched to the limit.

How to Deal with an Angry Child After Divorce

Remember that your child’s anger is their way of trying to make things go back to normal. A parent can be very helpful if they can be more responsive and less reactive to a child’s anger. Try to understand that it is extremely difficult for a child to split the foundations of their security. They may feel like they have one foot on the dock and the other on the drifting canoe. They are scared and are being stretched to the limit.

Can Divorce be Good for a Child?

Children and teens are intelligent and have often known for quite a while that their mom and dad have not been getting along. It is important to have these difficult but honest conversations with them together, with both parents present. The most important thing is to let them know that the decision to divorce has nothing to do with them. You might let them know that sometimes parents get along better when not living together.

Will Divorce Hurt My Child?

Yes; however, they may also be hurting in the present situation. The better question is, “How will we all heal from our hurts to become stronger, more compassionate people?” This is often a tough journey, and most get through it without too many long-lasting scars. As with any treacherous journey, it will likely end well if it is taken seriously and is prepared for well.

“Divorce is not always a doorway to happiness. The same can be said about marriage.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“I am a divorced child, of divided, uncertain background. Within this division I – supposed fruit of their love – no longer exist. It happened nearly forty years ago, yet to me nothing is sadder than my parents’ divorce.” Sylvia Kristel