Divorce is hard enough on couples who are dealing with the emotional after effects after several years of marriage, but what about the kids? Children often feel conflicted in their loyalties towards each of the parents as is. Imagine how challenging it is when bitterness exists between one or more of the parents. Unfortunately, divorce can be a messy issue, and in the process of working through a variety of emotions, words towards the other person can become very negative… sometimes even downright mean!
Children, in this case, find themselves as pawns in this “game of chess”. They don’t want to disagree with the parent making the negative comments, but they don’t want to agree with them either. After all, the one parent is speaking about their mother/father whom they love! It’s unfair to ask children to take sides, and when parents do, children become very conflicted.
In addition to the emotional baggage of the parents, children often carry their own. Some experience guilt and self-condemnation from the divorce, while others experience anger. Now, instead of living in one home, they have two. Dad/Mom isn’t there all the time as they once were, and there is a sadness that follows. The transition is never easy, and, with bickering parents added to the mix, it’s the children who suffer the greatest without help.
Shanta Chester discusses how to make the transition after divorce a little easier on the kids, and how to deal with the variety of emotions that children may display. She will discuss how to deal with anger issues arising out of a divorce, and how to deal with a spouse’s negative comments when they are directed at you in front of the kids.
Life after divorce can resume once again, but it takes time to heal. Understanding where your children are coming from, and helping them work through their feelings are all part of the process. There is hope for healing, in these cases.
This topic and many more as we tackle the phrase, “How Do I….” in terms of parenting in our next issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on July 26th!