Helping your children adjust after your divorce is essential. Heather Smith offers excellent advice on what you should do to help your child after the dust settles.
Here is Heather’s blog:
4 Steps to Take with Your Child After Divorce
You have sat your child down and given the dreaded speech that you never thought you would have to make. Mom and Dad are getting a divorce are some of the most difficult words a child will hear from their parent’s mouth. There are a few things that will help you and your child during this time; here are 4 things to consider doing:
Get them a counsellor: Once you have shared the unfortunate news with your child it is important that no matter their age, you get them a counsellor to speak with. Weekly sessions are best for them. It gives them one day a week to discuss and work out their thoughts and feelings. Children have difficulty opening up to their parents and need a third party when it comes to dealing with the divorce. It is a life change for them as well and you need to provide them with help.
Keep quiet: No matter what you do, keep your thoughts to yourself. Do not speak negatively about your former spouse in front of the child. Keep your arguments and frustrations away from the child. Do not share details of the divorce. It is so important to keep that out of the child’s life. Children already feel a sense of responsibility of the parents’ divorce and hearing things like this will only push them further into that belief. As hard as it can be to keep your feelings in, just do it.
Remain positive Make the transition easier on them by remaining positive. Most likely parental rights and visits have been established and now comes the difficult part for a child, spending time in two different homes. When you drop off and pick up, be sure you remain positive. Be interested in their time at the other’s house and respond with a smile. You want this to be easy and comfortable for the child.
Get them involved and active: If your child isn’t already part of a sports team or involved in a hobby, be sure that you start them in something. There are all sorts of emotions for your child during this time and having a sport or hobby is great for them to express it without doing harm to themselves or others when they act out. Sports teams are great because they require practices and game days. They are exercising and socializing with peers their age and can act like the child that they are. Hobbies like painting, learning a musical instrument will stimulate the child’s need to share their emotions. Try a few things out and allow your child to make the decision on what makes them the happiest.
Your divorce is what you make it. It may be a difficult and stressful time for you, but remember you aren’t the only one feeling that pain. Remain positive, get your child involved, find them a counsellor and always keep your negative thoughts to yourself. Don’t allow your child to feel like it’s their fault, because it is never the child’s fault.
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.