Help children cope with the stress of divorce
How to encourage your child to deal with and heal from the pain of divorce
A divorce is never easy. However, when a couple share children together, it can be significantly more difficult for every person in the immediate family! Children whose parents have separated have a tendency to develop emotional issues as a direct result of the trauma and stress experienced from their family being divided and their worlds uprooted. It's commonly reported that children from a broken home display symptoms of anger, sadness, low grades, withdrawal from social circles or usual activities, anxiety, low self-esteem, and being prone to substance abuse later on in life.
Children who handle their parent's divorce in the best way are often those whose parents have supported the child's emotional well-being and encouraged healthy coping mechanisms. We've laid out ways in which a parent can help their child cope with the emotional upsets of a divorce so that they can come out of this big life change a better, stronger, adaptable and happier individual.
Break the news in the most loving, calm way
Although there's no easy way to break the news of a divorce to your child, it's crucial for both parents to do their best in explaining the new arrangement in a calm way. Before you break the news to your child, sit down with your ex-partner and establish how you're going to manage telling your child so neither of you become upset or angry during the talk. The way you explain what's happening should depend on the child's age and temperament, but you should always make it clear that it's not their fault and that you both love them unconditionally. Nevertheless, most kids will still feel responsible for the split, so it's important that you constantly reassure them in this regard!
You can also encourage them to be excited about the new arrangement by emphasizing the point that they'll now have TWO houses, TWO birthday parties, TWO Christmas's etc. It may even be a good idea to let the child decorate their new room how they want, or get a new pet for the new home! Most importantly, try to answer all of their questions as truthfully as possible so that they can make sense all of the changes.
Tips: If you notice your child is starting to display symptoms of chronic depression or other emotional upsets, MindSoothe Jr is an all-herbal natural treatment for depression, anxiety and mood disorders in children, and is formulated by a practicing Clinical Psychologist! For acute cases of anxiety, tantrums, panic attacks or distress, Mom's Magic Trauma Sprinkles is an effective homeopathic remedy that calms volatile emotions or fears, and reduces crying in young children!
Don't fight in front of your child
It's almost inevitable that you and your ex-partner will land up in disagreements. It's a volatile time for everybody! While the arguments may be unavoidable, there's a time and place for them, and it's definitely not around your child. They will already be dealing with their own grief, so to be exposed to shouting and tension is the absolute LAST thing that they need or deserve. Keep your battles behind closed doors where your child can't hear or see you.
It's easy to make snide, underhanded remarks to your ex-partner in front of your child, thinking that they won't pick it up, but children are aware of a lot more than we realise! Keep things clean, amicable and respectful at all times around your kids - remember that kids whose parents express hostility are much more likely to have behavioral problems that continue into adulthood! Even if you're not openly argumentative, kids can sense tension and become anxious themselves.
Tip: If things start to lean towards hostility between you and your ex-partner, which does sometimes happen despite your best efforts, Mom's Magic Trauma Sprinkles assists your child in dealing with moments of anxiety, tension and stress.
Try to remain friendly with your ex-partner
Your child is likely accustomed to seeing you and your ex-partner spending time together, communicating and interacting for their entire lives (up until now). It often makes the blow of a divorce a little more cushioned if, through the separation process, they continue seeing their parents having some sort of amicable interaction, such as greeting each other hello and goodbye, attending family occasions, sitting together at school plays etc. It's an unrealistic pressure to remain friends with your ex, however it's favourable if you can remain friendly, especially around the child.
Tips: If you find that you're struggling to let go of resentment and feelings of anger towards your partner, you may want to consider going for counseling. In addition, MindSoothe and PureCalm are the perfect natural remedies to relieve anger outbursts and keep you calm. MindSoothe is a 100% herbal remedy which helps to soothe irritation, frustration and prevent temper outbursts, while a daily few doses of PureCalm will bring instant relief from stress, tension and anxiety.
Encourage your children to express themselves
Children react differently to upsetting situations. Some children cope by acting out in anger, becoming clingy and tearful, or becoming defiant. Other children don't show any symptoms and completely internalize, or even deny, their emotions! Whichever manner your child deals with divorce, it's important that you recognise and care about their feelings. Reassure them that all of their upset feelings are perfectly okay, normal and understandable. Encourage them to speak about it and try find healthy ways to make them feel better.
Tips: Sometimes your children may not want to talk about their feelings with you, in which case you may want to consider therapy. It could also help to spend lots of quality time with your child, doing things that they want to do, in efforts to build a strong relationship of trust and comfortability. If you notice your child is starting to display symptoms of chronic depression or other emotional upsets, MindSoothe Jr is an all-herbal natural treatment for depression, anxiety and mood disorders in children, and is formulated by a practicing Clinical Psychologist! For acute cases of anxiety, tantrums, panic attacks or distress, Mom's Magic Trauma Sprinkles is an effective homeopathic remedy that calms volatile emotions or fears, and reduces crying in children!
Never speak badly of the other parent to the child
Bashing your ex in front of your child is extremely harmful to your child's happiness and self-esteem. Not only is bashing your ex-partner exposing your child to nasty and abusive behaviour, it also encourages your child to feel resentful toward the parent that is spoken badly of, which may result in your child alienating themselves from that parent. Your child is likely to feel pressure to take sides which could result in them developing anxiety and panic attacks. The child might also start to feel shame and may become embarrassed to be associated with the parent who is spoken badly about. Just because you have a bad relationship with your ex, doesn't mean your child must! As a parent, it's your responsibility to encourage a healthy bond between your child and their other parent!
Tips: If you find that you're struggling to let go of resentment and feelings of anger towards your partner, you may want to consider going for counseling. MindSoothe and PureCalm are the perfect natural remedies to relieve anger outbursts and keep you calm. MindSoothe is a 100% homeopathic remedy which helps to soothe irritation, frustration and prevent temper outbursts while a daily few doses of PureCalm will bring instant relief from stress, tension and anxiety. Try to make the transition as smooth as possible
Keep their teachers informed
Divorce is a life changing event that often comes with various emotional consequences. For children, some of these consequences are loss of concentration, loss of interest, becoming defiant and a drop in grades. It's important to let your child's teachers know what's going on at home, so that if your child displays any of the above-mentioned signs, they understand where it's coming from and can deal with it in the most appropriate manner. Your child does not need additional stress from their teachers, just because their teachers are unaware of what's going on at home!
Tips: Reduce disruptive, restless and impulsive behaviour with our natural remedy called Focus Formula that has the added benefit of improving your child's concentration and grades! If you notice your child is starting to display symptoms of chronic depression or other emotional upsets, MindSoothe Jr can help! For acute cases of anxiety, tantrums, panic attacks or distress, Mom's Magic Trauma Sprinkles is your answer!
Maintain your child's general health
Ensuring that your child receives sufficient nutrients on a daily basis plays a huge role in their physical health and emotional well-being! A good diet leads to increased vitality, improved moods and better brain functioning, allowing them to succeed in every aspect of their lives. Many parents only focus on supporting their child emotionally through a divorce and forget to support their general health, too! A combination of healthy diet, regular exercise and daily supplements all contribute to your child's overall happiness and ability to deal with stressful situations!
Tips: Encourage your child to partake in extramural activities so that they have something to look forward to, and develop a sense of belonging (outside of their home/s). Instead of putting unhealthy snacks in their lunchbox, try stick to healthy, balanced foods! Dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free and preservative-free daily multivitamins, such as Kangavites, contain all of the vitamins and minerals a child needs for growth, strong immune systems and healthy brain functioning in a yummy chewable tablet!
If you have any questions, please contact us for FREE advice. We're always happy to hear from you!