There is little doubt that divorce is hard on all those involved, but the children may often be the ones most severely affected. Change isn't something that everyone deals well with, and this is especially true when it comes to younger children.
Trying to adjust to two homes instead of one, and perhaps changing schools and losing friends, can bring yet another level of emotions to the surface. Parenting can be difficult when there are two parents present in the home; however, when it's up to one parent to deal with the sudden influx of negative emotions from the children, the situation can become a lot for a parent to handle, too.
One psychologist says that one way to truly help your children through this difficult time is to make sure your children know you love and support them. However, when children become frustrated and stressed, it can be easy for a parent to become the same way. Learning how to notice that you are becoming frustrated can be the first step in calming yourself so you can be more helpful to your children. Breathing deeply and slowly can help ease tension and frustration - things that negatively impact our lives.
It's important to notice how your emotions are reacting to a stressful situation, too. Feeling sad, angry, defeated, unloved or other negative emotions is not uncommon during a divorce. It's also common for some children to try to challenge your authority or take advantage of you. Learn how to deal with these emotions in a productive way. Your children will begin to see that you truly do love and support them - something they must know in order to move through this difficult time.
Finally, try to keep your thinking positive. If your child is being defiant, antagonistic or overly emotional, remember that their lives are upside down right now, too.
There are techniques that can help you deal with the changes in your body, emotions and thinking. Consider family therapy to help you learn how to better cope with the changes that are happening and the ever-present tidal wave of emotions. For those who are still in the midst of their Colorado divorce or who are contemplating a divorce, you may find that understanding all of your legal options can provide some stress relief as well.
Source: Huffington Post, "Staying Calm When Kids Lose It During Divorce" Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz, Jan. 13, 2014