Monday, July 23, 2007

How To Help Your Child Cope With Anger During Divorce

Like any children, children of divorce know how to push our buttons. They will wear us down and wear us out if we don’t watch ourselves. Also, without even trying, they learn the game of making parents compete. Avoid this. Don’t buy them something new just because your ex did. If possible discuss purchases of such things as computers, games, iPods, TVs, vehicles, and just about anything that you may think is questionable from the viewpoint of money or maturity. Don’t try to one-up your spouse, and don’t try to keep up either. Talk about what your kids should have. Don’t let your kids dictate this by playing on your desire to be as good a provider as your ex.

Deep down every child wants parents to be together and happy. The underlying anger at the fact that this cannot happen simmers deep within them and can explode at any time. They might pick fights with their siblings, talk back, get in fights at school, and let their grades drop. They do these things to get attention. The child’s world has changed and he doesn’t like it. That anger must surface in order for us to deal with it.

Recognize that your child is having problems; do all you can to help. Some children never express their hurt and anger. This follows them into adulthood, showing up in stress-related behaviors and illnesses. Talk to your kids. Let them know it is okay to feel bad, but things will get better. How you behave and carry on with your life will be the direct indicator of how well your kids behave. Show them your strength, and your ability to survive and thrive. Explain that all things, both good and bad, happen for a reason; it’s how we deal with them that counts.

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