Caring for Kids During a Divorce

Check out this post by Georgina Evans.

Going through a divorce is a tough time for the two individuals deciding to walk in separate directions. However, when there are kids involved, this puts extra strain on the situation. There are ways of dealing with this big event in a sensible and restrained manner. The divorce will affect every kid differently; they may be shocked, frustrated, upset and angry. This is why it is so important to make sure that the kids get every inch of support that they need. It is essential that both parents put their differences aside when dealing with the children. Make sure they know that they are loved and things will get easier. This guide is here to offer a template to how to deal with this situation in the benefit of your children.

Breaking the news

There is never an easy way to break such news, but it is best if possible for both parents to be present in the discussion. This enables the children to ask questions to both parties and offers a clear understanding of the situation. The conversation will be different for whatever age the kids are and their level of maturity, etc. In whatever case, it is vital for the parent to persist that what has happened is between them and is not the children’s fault in any way.

Restrain from conflict in front of the kids

For the sake of the children’s well being, it is best to keep heated discussions away from them. It will just escalate their worries and will upset them further. Legal talk should be kept well away from the kids also. It is not fair to discuss such matters in front of them. To make it easier for the kids, it is important to converse such matters in privacy.

Avoid disruption to routines

If parents stir up the usual daily routines due to the divorce, this disruption will add to the child’s confusion of the situation. Home life will be unsettled at this time, so keeping the usual routine going offers the children stability and structure. Children yearn stability so it is key to continue this. Undoubtedly there will be some occasions that you may have to disrupt the child’s daily routine, but it is vital to keep this to a minimum to avoid further upset.

Both parents must stay involved

An imperative point about caring for the children during a divorce is that it must be an equal and shared responsibility of both parents. They must both stay engaged in the kid’s lives to reinforce their parental figures. This will assure the kids that just because the parents will not be together anymore, this does not mean the child will not see them.

No negativity to one and other

It is important to confine blame about each other to discussions with friends or family away from the home, or therapy sessions if the parents so wish to do so. Conversing about personal issues with one another in front of sensitive ears can impact on the children’s views and feelings towards both parents. Hearing the parents being bitter towards each other will distress the kids and add more confusion to a situation they will find hard to grasp an understanding of.

Do not seek advice from the kids

Adults will need thorough support from friends, family and professionals during this upsetting time of separation. It is unfair to seek out support from your kids, as this will be offering them a biased view on the divorce. The kids may appear like they want to give you support, but for their sakes it is best to restrain from this. Perhaps discuss it with them when they are older and more mature to deal with the topic of discussion.

Dealing with kids reactions

Depending on their age and personalities, all kids will act differently. However in most circumstances, the parents must be prepared for lots of questions. The children may feel guilty and scared. It is imperative to keep the child reassured and be clear about what is going to happen. Some kids may not react straight away, so in this situation it is important to let the child be aware that they can talk to you whenever they feel ready to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips for Dating After 35

My single and divorced friends will often call me for dating advice. It’s comforting when they actually listen to it. Some will ask for my advice and then do the opposite thing. Then they come back sad and disappointed. Dating doesn’t get any easier when you’re 35 and older, but you can still be successful. Here are some tips:

  1. There are still good men out there. Some women say that they are by themselves because men today don’t have anything to offer. That may be true to a certain extent, but it works both ways. What do you have to offer? How picky can you be when you’re unemployed, living with your parents, and don’t own your own car? Think about it. You may be hurt by what I’ve said, but you have to consider those things. You may be looking for a lawyer, but that “good man” may be a bus driver taking college courses in political science. You never know.
  2. Pray about it. God knows all of our wants and our needs. Talk to Him about it. There are many biblical references for this (i.e. I Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 37:4; Philippines 4:6).
  3. Stop obsessing about your ex. You may feel that you invested a lot of time in that relationship, but he did as well. Your ex had moved on with someone new, so you should do the same. That is the reason that they are called “exes”. You forgive them and move on. Don’t keep allowing them to hurt you over and over again. That obsession will take control of your life, and you will not be able to move forward.
  4. Don’t just focus on one guy. If you’re divorced and ready to start dating again, don’t just focus on one guy. You may find him attractive, but you don’t know anything about him. In 2014, a man can be gay, straight, bisexual, or transsexual. Unless he’s up front about it, it’s not good to assume until you get to know him. Get to know one another and see what things that you have in common. If it doesn’t lead to a relationship, you’ll at least have a friendship. This isn’t about sex; the more men that you meet, the better your chances of finding one that you’re compatible with.
  5. Continue to live life to the fullest. Don’t put all of your focus on dating. Typically, if you’re involved in outside activities and causes that you are passionate about, chances are that you’re meeting people with similar interests.
  6. Stop thinking that nobody is “good enough”. It so easy for you to believe that now that you have a successful career, a fantastic house, the car, and the beauty that no man can meet your standards. Whether or not you want to admit it, you need that companionship. You get tired of coming home to an empty house. I’ve heard so many stories of women that always talk about how many men are pursuing them; yet they are not interested in any of them.   Stop faking. Just like you, every man is going to have his flaws in addition to his outstanding characteristics. It’s all about what you can live with.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful. Some of you may not like what I had to say, but these are the things that I’ve noticed and believe should be said. Remember to stay positive. Marriage can work if two people are compatible.

How to Avoid Getting a Divorce

The best way to avoid getting a divorce is not waiting to seek help when things are not going well.  In my profession a lot of couples decide to come in for counseling as a last resort.  It should be the first.  It is difficult to help a marriage if there is so much anger that neither spouse is willing to listen to the other.  There needs to be positive interaction before each can feel safe to share how they are feeling.  If blaming is predominant it is impossible to share because neither spouse is listening.  They are shut down.

Learning to communicate, listen and validate the other person is essential in building safety.  Doing those things are tough if you have not been taught the skills to do them.  I always tell couples you can leave the relationship, but you still take you with you.  You will just take your baggage with you to the next relationship.  Better to stay and try and work it out.

The DNA of Relationships, by Gary Smalley, is a great book that identifies ways to build a strong marriage. We all have core fears and we react to those fears when we are triggered by events or people.  If we grew up in an unsafe environment then we will view our relationship with others as unsafe.  It is a subconscious belief that we usually are not even aware that we have. It is destructive and it effects the way we see our world.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman identify the 4 predictors of divorce and calls them “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”.  They are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.  These are all signs of dysfunctional interaction in relationships. If you are experiencing any of these then it is a sign that your marriage is in trouble.  Get some professional help.

If you want to avoid divorce, treat your spouse with love and respect.  Don’t have unrealistic expectations and don’t expect them to make you happy.  They make mistakes and we can’t fall apart every time they let us down.

Good relationships don’t just happen. It takes work to build solid, lasting, secure, and loving marriages. Use the resources available to empower you and your spouse and do the things you need to do to heal your relationship.  It will be worth it.

Vickie Parker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

To read more of my blogs or make an online counseling appointment visit my web site @ vickiemft.com

Number Seven

Today, my husband and I celebrated 7 years of marriage.  We both think back to how much we’ve both become better people.  It is a blessing because we both have friends  who have been through or are in the process of getting a divorce.  Some of them  were only married for 4 years while others were married for 20 or more years. The thing is that infidelity or abuse are justifiable reasons for divorce, but that is not the case with many couples.  Some couples “grow apart” or each person wants something different.  Sometimes, it’s the “little things” that cause huge problems.  Problems that weren’t addressed because of a lack of communication.  You’re walking around angry and giving each other the “silent treatment” and you don’t even know what you’re mad about in the first place.

When we got married, it was with the intent of having children and growing old together.  We’re not perfect people, but we know that communication is important. We work as a team to care for our son, who needs and loves us both.  We take time to have fun, whether it’s dinner, a movie, or planning a vacation.  We love each other.  Most importantly, we put God first.  The enemy does not want your marriage to succeed.  I always look at ways that I can be a better person; I try to find ways to spice things up.  Any relationship takes work, which pays off in the long run. Be content with all that you have because like I’ve said before, the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.