Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
3/8/13 at 03:59 AM 0 Comments

Helping Children Survive Divorce

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Our children are precious investments. The great return for parents is the knowledge in knowing that they devoted time and energy to provide them with an abundance of positive attention throughout the formative years of their youth.

Unfortunately, a divorce situation can have monumental adverse side effects on children who are brought along for the regrettable ride. It can manifest in negative repercussions on the most innocent of victims---the children. Parents who are entering a divorce should make certain that all issues are handled with skill so that the children are left with healthy psyches. They should remind themselves often that their children's hearts are hurting, as well. Their world is falling apart and the negative side effects can generate depression, insecurities, self-esteem issues, anxiety and possible physical problems. If it is a bitter divorce, it is paramount that parents need to be able to set aside their own troubles and concerns during such a trying time and focus on the needs of their precious children. It is important that the children not be privy to the disputes and conflict. The psyches of children will be better able to develop in a healthy fashion if they can be assured by their parents that they respect one another. A nurturing plan needs to be implemented to ensure that they will feel a sense of a form of a solid foundation rather than one of unkind words and adversity.

A congenial family meeting with the children and both parents is valuable. This will be an aid for their ultimate understanding and underlying positive acceptance of the impending break up of the family. It is a parent's obligation to have complete knowledge that it is within their power to help their children through the unfortunate process. It is their innate responsibility to protect their children from having to visually observe the discord in their homes. It is vital to relieve them from having to witness the stress that can accompany divorce. Their psychological and emotional well-being needs of the children needs to be the number one priority. They are the innocent victims and the side effects can play out negatively later in their lives unless addressed properly. Therefore, their psychological needs should be first and foremost and should far outweigh the parents' needs at the time. The positive end result is that it will give them the opportunity to grow into healthy adults with good coping skills. This will help them to adjust more easily to adverse hardships throughout other life experiences. Their coping capacity will give them the opportunity to survive other obstacles. If the process is well-structured and rooted and maintained with a sense of peacefulness, then the kids at least have a good chance of becoming adults with healthy minds and a sense of self-worth. If it is a particularly bitter divorce, the services of a mediator are crucial.

Sacrificial love for your valuable children is the bottom line. As a result, it can benefit the parents in many regards throughout an unfortunate break up of a marriage. Remind yourself that it is a gift to the children if they can tell that their parents like each other in spite of their unfortunate situation. Even if parents have to pretend they care about each other, for the sake of the very young child, is far better than the alternative.

During a divorce, children can lose their and self-worth and sense of value. They can often blame themselves for the break up. Therefore, it is imperative to cater to their self-esteem. A creative, fun way to let them know that they are special and worthwhile is to write a note every night in which you compliment them. Refer to their positive, special attributes, intelligence, their abilities, and on and on. Add some humor for laughter can be healing. Be certain to tell them how much they are loved by their father and mother. Place it under their pillow each night. They will then have a chance to start off each day with reaffirming, complimentary notes of love that will carry them throughout their day. Have the spouse who has left the home to write down their own notes, so that the children can receive them from both.

he most crucial underlying point is that children need to know that their parents' divorce is not their fault. It would serve them well if they can be a witness to their parents being congenial or even friends. It is imperative that parents NEVER utter an unkind word to the children about the other parent. It is cruel to do that to innocent children and it can play out adversely. It is the parent's job to try to maintain a household that is a happy one. Even though the parents are dealing with hearts that hurt, it is of utmost importance to be unselfish in regards to the children's needs that overrides your own. It is valuable to try to keep a level of normalcy each day in the household. Keep the household spirit upbeat and positive. It is helpful for the children to visually witness their parents in a happy frame of mind. Make certain that each parent participates actively in their lives and expresses never ending interest in their daily lives. Be sure not to separate them from relatives on either side. It is far better that it be an all inclusive welcoming of both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends. They can play powerful roles at this time, as well, in offering extra support and interest. It will serve the children well psychologically as they hopefully grow into healthy adults.

Be continually aware of the psychological needs of the children. It is important to pay attention to their overall demeanor of the children, as you stay abreast of their emotions and attitudes. If you notice that they are separating themselves from the family or friends, withdrawing emotionally or exhibiting signs of anger, then know that it is important to seek professional help. This can be a positive avenue for allowing them the expression of their underlying thoughts and emotions.

The children's teachers need to be apprised of the situation, so that they can offer solicitous guidance. They can pay attention closely to their moods and possible personality changes that can offer clues to the inner workings of their mindset.

By focusing on the children's needs during a sad time of strife, it will help to mold them into healthy adults with strong coping skills for other difficult life situations. It is crucial to aid in directing them towards the path of healthy adulthood. It is imperative to keep it a non-adversarial situation while compromising to maintain some level of normalcy for the children. If it is not attained, then the children have to pay the price later in life.

Make a positive commitment to always keep your child's healthiness in mind. It will carry them for a lifetime and will enable them to grow into fine adults with coping mechanisms that they can adapt to future adversity. Just remember that the well-being of your children's psyches needs to begin the moment that divorce is inevitable. They will at least have a chance at peaceful resolution through the strife of a breaking up of a family. Your children will at least have the probability of growing into healthy proactive adults with a strong sense of self -- .that will only happen, however, if you make them your number one priority. The happiness of the children of divorce is the parent's responsibility and it all boils down to the beauty of "unconditional love." So, pave a healthy path for your children -- .because you LOVE them!

Hunter Darden, the author of Tapestry (OakTara), The Everlasting Snowman (written to explain the reality of death and the concept of eternal life to children after Hunter lost two brothers, her father, and her sister), and other well-known titles, has been featured in Writer's Digest, Today's Woman, Carolina Country, Houston Woman, acted as columnist for The Charlotte Observer, contributed human-interest stories for Sanity Central's website (www.sanitycentral.net), and writes a humor/inspiration column for Associated Content. For signed/personalized copies of her books: http://www.booksbyhunter.net

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