Children of divorce go through almost the same stages
of divorce that adults do.
Almost the same the parent is
going through but, not necessarily in the same order as the parent.
- Bewilderment - cannot
believe this is really happening
- Anxiety - what
catastrophe is this going to bring on next
- Anger -
it isn't fair
- Blaming - become depressed
Fear- afraid for the future
miss what was.
Yet most people ignore
the emotional roller coaster the children are going through, saying
the parents got divorced, not "you kids."
Yet both suffer a loss and are
thrown into major lifestyle changes at the same time.
need to do:
To smooth things out in the children's roller coaster of emotional ups
and downs, ...........
to do the following:
1. Be more understanding of emotional flare-ups just as
they need to be more understanding of you and your emotional roller
2. Assure them the missing parent did not stop being their
father (or mother), that the missing parent is having a difficult time
adjusting too and may find it hard to see them often and have to split
again each time - that rather than have to go through that emotional
tearing apart, the missing parent may prefer to nearly cut off all
contact until they have adjusted but that doesn't mean they stopped
loving or caring about you.
3. Tell them you are setting up a kid-time every day at a
certain time, like, say, 5:30p.m. During that time they can bring up
anything they like and can talk as long as they want and you will give
them 100% of your attention. So save all of their gripes or anything
they need to discuss or talk about until that time if they feel you
are not really hearing them. It is the quality of your time (attention),
not length of time.
4. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, fears and
affects of the divorce
without putting them down for it or "poo-pooing" their
Basically call a truce and end the
war with your Ex. When you continue the divorce war,
research shows children are most affected.
run the missing parent down excessively.
Do not build them up superficially either because kids
know there was some reason you split.
One of the big temptations is to use the children as spies or
reporters of what is going on with the Ex.
yet, use them as pawnsin the bargaining between the
parents, such as 'If you do not do blank..... then you can't see Johnny
this week', or even worse, using it as a lever with the children: 'If you
do not…., you can't go with your father this weekend.'
Respect visitation rights with the missing
parent an absolute thing that can be shaken only by grave happenings. If
the children want to be with or the missing parent wants to be with them
certain times, let them - even if it inconveniences you.
When the missing parent knows they can see their children as often
as they want and the children know they can see the missing parent as
often as they want (at least as far as you are concerned anyway), then
it takes the fear and frustration out of the divorce hassle.
The Ex and the children will both soon tire of it if this
privilege is used excessively so you won't be inconvenienced too long.
So just hang in there and do not rock the boat.
The visitation parent must learn that when they
agree to a time, they keep, respect and honor it. Otherwise they are
asking for lack of cooperation next time.
IT OUT, IS BIG
Another thing we forget is that we need to talk about our own
divorce adjustment and inner emotional turmoil (and war with the Ex) so
much so often that, not always having someone to talk to about this, we
drop this on the children and try to make them our counselor. Again, a bad
Children badly need to talk about what has happened and
often parents are of little help. Relatives, clergy, counselors and/or
others should be asked to help with this.
Another common mistake is to become "supermama" or
Disneyland Daddy. The mother who says 'My whole life now is my
children' becomes supermama. She
is not only not doing herself a favor, she is not doing the children one
The father who tries to make up for his absence
by taking them all sorts of exciting places when he has visitation
is also missing the boat.
The mother needs to
lead a rounded life of her own to raise well-adjusted children.
What they need is attention,
not just a tour guide to the land of make-believe.
When the parents start dating again, avoid exposing the
children to a whirlwind change of different people. When you have
a relationship or relationships going that appear to be fairly constant
for at least some period of time, then allow more contact between the
dates and the children.
As far as
sexual relationships go, the experts advise that if you
try to deceive the children by claiming that John slept on the couch
all night, you are not fooling the children.
Be honest. Explain you are over 21 and have adult needs.
If you have teenage daughters, explain that you are an adult
and have the emotional maturity to handle filling your sexual needs
That does not mean they should do the same or have
clearance to do so (until they are an adult too).
Remember, many fathers
(or the missing mothers) give more needed attention in a
short time with visitation than they often ever did when they
lived with the children full time.
children to spend as much time as possible with the missing
parent and encourage the missing parent to see the children as
often as possible also.
If you are the missing parent, instead of just taking the children
when you want to or when it is convenient for you, cooperate and
offer to take the children when the custodial parent wants to be
free of them for various reasons or times.
Accept some of the
responsibility, always be on time and you will get cooperation
when you need it too.
Children can grow and expand their life with new adult relationships of both parents,
winding up with a double set of parents that care about them.
While it looks like they are getting short-changed now, they
will probably be in a good place and shape later when all
the divorce smoke has cleared.
Read more on "Your Kids and Dating Again"
of Page || Divorce
Recovery 101 Index
Divorce Adjustment Help
Free Divorce Newsletter
Sign Up Here
Free 5 Day Email Divorce Course
Sign Up Here
Read and Study over 300
"Life Changing" recovery articles,
Reprint Our Articles
1000 Helpful Single Life Links
Please tell us how we are doing.
Feel free to make suggestions
Do it here
How To Link To Us
Help Others Find This Site
Send This Page to "Divorcing Friends",
Read Letters From Divorced Folks Like Yourself,
is our site for those worked thru
their divorce and are working on a great new life as a single person,
Again 101 is our new site for help in getting back into the dating world
Sign up for
Free Dating Again newsletter of tips to help make new
relationships a part of your life. Edited by Harlan.
here to sign up