Divorce with Children: 5 Things You Must Know!Written on June 17, 2015
Divorce is one of the hardest things that anyone can ever go through. If you have ever lost someone close to you that who passed away, the pain of divorce is comparable to the pain of a death in the family. Divorce is like a personal death. The pain from losing them, especially if it isn’t your choice, can be unbearable.
What can make things even worse, is if you have children involved. If you had children together, you won’t ever stop hearing about the “ex”, or stop seeing them. You will see them at family events, the kid’s sporting events, and even the special holidays. Because of this, it’s important to maintain your composure for the children and keep your emotions under control. If you say something in front of the children, or embarrass yourself by your actions, it will be one of your biggest regrets.
Here’s some tips on how to cope with the pain of divorce:
- Always remember to put the kids first. They are stuck in the middle and didn’t ask for this. It’s not their fault. The divorce is hurting them too, they just may not talk about it. Make sure that they stay at the top of your priorities.
- Don’t talk about your ex-spouse in front of the kids. This is really hard to do. When you are angry, it’s only natural that we want to let it out. However, telling the kids how you really feel about their mom or dad is NOT the person to talk to. Let your children form their own opinions as they grow up. You can’t make them your crutch or sounding board, or it will drive a wedge between you and your children. Kids remember what you say, so don’t say anything that you don’t want repeated, or remembered years from now. Words can hurt us to the core, and kids are no exception.
- Keep your promises. Life without the spouse is going to be different. If you are the parent who will have the kids in your care full-time, there will be days when you are tired and overwhelmed and don’t want to do anything. If you promised to take them to their favorite restaurant or a fun day at the park, just do it. Keep your word and lose the guilt. Kids remember when you don’t do what you say, and it hurts. They are dealing with the pain from the divorce and feeling empty inside, just like you do. Having something to look forward to is a big deal, and you don’t want to be the one to disappoint them.
- Keep your temper under control. Divorce is the most difficult during the first year. The pain and hurt will start to fade after you establish a new routine on your own. When everything has just happened is when the emotions you feel are the most raw. If you can just weather the storm until the first year passes, you will be able to make it! You have to be “on guard” every time you see them, and every time your child or someone close to you brings up their name. It’s exhausting, but necessary. Most important: don’t lose it in front of your child. Keep your dignity and control your temper, and you will be glad you did a few years from now when things are normal again.
- Assure them that you love them, and will always be there for them. During the divorce, you will be going through a mix of emotions that may change daily and on a whim. Kids are affected by this, even if you don’t notice. The divorce changes you, and it changes them too. Young children can’t verbalize things like you can. They get frustrated and don’t know how to explain it. Let them know daily how much you care and how much they mean to you. Remind them that you will always be there for them. Remember that worry and anxiety can take many forms. Your child may be angry, emotional, or just quiet. Let them lean on you for comfort and support, and always make time for them.
Here’s a link to the parenting class required for the state of Georgia if you have children:
Here is a link to a local divorce support group:
Here’s another story on divorce from a dad’s point of view: