Grin And Bear It--Helping Your Child Cope With Divorce By Maintaining A Positive Attitude
The time leading up to your divorce is a difficult trial. All of the negativity, pain, and anger that caused you and your partner to reach this point seem to come to a head. It can be overwhelming, and no one would judge you for not being at your best in the face of this adversity. However, your child's well-being depends on you being strong during this difficult time.
The statistics regarding children and divorce are sobering. If you aren't able to find a way to help your child cope with the new state of their family, they are at risk for a number of problems later in life. These include:
- Academic struggles
- Juvenile delinquency
- Drug and alcohol use
- Risky sexual behavior
The key to helping your child avoid these pitfalls is to work diligently to create a sustainable, meaningful partnership with your ex. That way, your child will continue to have support from two loving parents. However, this feat is often easier said than done. A positive attitude for both you and your child can make this goal a much more likely outcome.
Positivity With Your Spouse
Your child needs to feel that they aren't being forced to take sides or choose between their parents. Unfortunately, you're probably not feeling all that unified with your spouse as you travel to meetings with your attorney regarding your split. That's because your previous relationship defined unity and partnership in a much different way than the current state of affairs demands.
For starters, focus on the fact that you're no longer looking for personal comfort by continuing the partnership. Instead, remember that you're trying to create an environment that can effectively meet the needs of your child. If you continue to look for the strength and satisfaction that your spouse used to provide, you'll simply be disappointed. On the other hand, if you acknowledge that this new relationship isn't about your needs anymore, you'll have an easier time.
Also, be extremely aware of your language and demeanor when speaking openly with your spouse. Children, no matter what age, are quite perceptive when it comes to reading the feelings and subtext that their parents communicate. Be sure that the conversation you're having is appropriate for your audience.
Positivity With Your Child
If you think that this experience has you on an emotional roller coaster, imagine what it could be like for your child. Dealing with such powerful emotions is difficult at any age. They will need the support of both you and your spouse, or they could end up blaming themselves for the current state of their family.
Even though you may feel exhausted, the key to helping your child is through consistent, intentional expressions of love and value. Make it a point to reach out to your child every day and explain how much you care for them and how valuable they are. Also, encourage your spouse to do the same, even if you can't stand the thought of it. Both parties in a divorce need to make sure they aren't sending the message to their child that they should choose sides.
Positivity With Yourself
None of the difficult work that goes into being positive with your spouse and child is possible if you don't take care of yourself. If you're going through a divorce, things have probably happened that you need to process and deal with. You also probably need some time to heal.
The key here is to not be a martyr. Be sure to indulge in the hobbies and activities that bring you happiness. Spend time with friends. Take your child on a trip. While you may feel like withdrawing, it's important to remain connected to the parts of your life that bring you joy. Only then can you be at your best for your child.
It's ridiculous to think that a major change in family structure will be easy for your child. That said, if you take intentional steps to remain positive with your spouse, your child, and yourself, the transition can be a smooth one. For more tips about navigating a divorce, contact a company such as Law Offices of Gordon Liebmann.