How to Build Your Family After Divorce
I admit it.
But I don't have regrets.
All in all, I have learned a lot from my divorce experience.
I sacrificed all my time effort and energy to my relationship.
We dated for 3 years. We hung out in spectacular places. Ate yummy cuisines together. We had amazing night outs and dinners together.
Coffee dates were my favorite. We had them daily in the evening after work. When my pocket was torn to afford high end "Java". We could stroll downtown to my favorite joint "Highlands Restaurant". To find a pocket-friendly cup of joe.
Every other weekend we visit places. National parks, museums, art galleries, creative arts, live bands and karaoke nights.
I bought tickets for stand up comedies and creative arts performances.
My girlfriend loved movies. Each time a new movie got released. I made sure she had a fascinating 3D experience at IMAX.
Life was cool. I gave it all to the one I loved.
Thereafter we settle down and start a family. We got a son. My wife was a university graduate. But Finding work was such a daunting task.
So I became the sole breadwinner of the young family.
Life wasn't easy.
You know the feeling, don't you?
I loaned some money to start a business for her.
Things got worse
My job contract ended. I became jobless.
My 3 months old son needed diapers, food, clothes, and cough syrup. We were struggling to make ends meet.
Life had taken a sharp turn.
We started having unresolved conflicts. One day I got physical on her. I slapped her. This was after a nasty argument.
The following day she parked her things and left.
We have tried to reconcile the differences with parents, counselors, family, and friends.
But for sure things are not working out.
The truth is that we are now divorcing.
Divorce is real.
It can happen to anyone.
The big question that gives me sleepless nights is. What will happen to my son? How will he grow in a disconnected family? Whom will he blame when he grows up? How will this divorce affect his health? What if my son gets a stepdad?
This is crazy?
You know what I mean?
The new experience has made me dig deeper and research about divorce. The impact of divorce on children.What kids expect from their daddy and mommy after divorce. Lastly, how do you help kids adjust to divorce?
Don't stop reading now.
Let's find out how to build your family after divorce.
Let's get started.
Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. Divorce can either happen in court or settled outside the court. So let’s get down to the four types of divorce.
Here you agree to separate with your spouse. But no one is to blame for the end of your marriage. You are incompatible or have irreconcilable differences.
It's smooth and brief. Both parties agree to break up. Next, you agree on the division of properties, child custody, and financial issues.
It happens to couples married for a short time. So they have no children or wealth to bicker over. It's affordable and less stressful granted within 30 days after filing.
A limited divorce is an outright legal separation. Thus spouses have time to spruce up their finances. All in all, they must come to an agreement before the divorce.
Impact of Divorce on Children
What happens during a divorce?
Children have a bad time.
Let's face it. Divorce is thick to both parents and children.
Parents wade through new ways of raising and relating to their children. Whereas children cope with the new reality every day.
So what are the psychological effects of divorce on children?
let's get to them.
Poor academic performance
Children get distracted and confused during a divorce. They lose focus on their school work. They also show behavior problems in school. Their academic gets affected
Loss of interest in social activities
Families going through a divorce have less social contact with other families. Children feel insecure when getting along with other siblings, peers, and friends.
Difficult adapting to change
Children have to adapt to the new family dynamics. New housing or living situation, new school, friends. All these changes have an effect on the child
Experience sensitive emotions
Divorce brings feelings of loss, sadness, anger, anxiety, confusion, doubt, and panic. Children are most often overpowered by these sensitive emotions. They need someone to talk to, someone who will listen to them.
Anger and irritability
After divorce children become angry and irritable. They display anger to their parents, friends or themselves.
The anger may last for a few weeks. If it persists it's advisable to seek help from a child psychologist
Feelings of guilt
Most children question why their parents divorced. They wonder why their parents no longer love one another.
They wonder if they have contributed to the divorce.
The feeling of guilt increases pressure. This leads to depression, stress, and other health-related problems.
Research shows when children experience divorce. When they grow up they are more likely to rebel. They are likely to have destructive behavior.
They take part in the crime. Engage in smoking habits. Use of prescribed drugs. Teenage pregnancy, alcohol, and substance abuse, suicidal attempts among others.
Divorce increases stress to children. Dealing with issues can take its toll leading to physical problems.
They show signs of depression. Their health problems become worse, trouble sleeping, increased stress and nervous breakdown.
Loss of faith in marriage and family unit
Research shows that children who experience divorce. Are more likely to divorce in their future relationships.
Divorce cases are two to three times higher than children from non-divorced families.
How to Support Children After Divorce
I admit it.
Divorce is never a seamless process.
It’s an uphill battle, especially for children.
You can reduce your child's pain after divorce. By making their well-being your top priority. Thus, help your kids to:
- Adjust to separation changes
- Identify and express divorce feelings
- Enhance and develop family relationships after divorce
- Gain life skills and social skills for their future life
Children want to count on you for stability and care. Your support will help kids ride out these unsettling times. Later on, they will emerge strong and confident.
What kids want from mom and dad after the divorce
What if you could discuss separation with your child?
This is crazy: right?
This is what they will have to say.
- I need both of you to stay in my life. It makes me feel important.
- Please stop fighting and get along with each other
- I want to love both of you. And spend time with both of you.
- Please say kind things when talking about my mom or dad.
- I count on you mom and dad to raise me up
Helping kids adjust to divorce
Start by explaining divorce in a simple and straightforward way. For instance, you can say
" Mommy and Daddy fight all the time and it makes us unhappy"
" We have decided that we live in separate houses."
Reassure your child that both parents love them. For instance, tell them
'You will spend every other weekend with daddy. The rest of the days you will be with mommy.
Putting up a calendar on when to visit daddy puts your child's mind to rest. They get assured to have time with both parents.
Openly, talk about your kid's emotion. You may explain
'Its normal to feel sad and guilty after divorce'
These feelings are hard to deal with alone. When you're angry talk to your parents. You can say
"I'm feeling sad"
"I need to talk"
Encourage your child to have a regular conversation. Show that you accept any feelings that they have.
Convince your kid that the divorce is not their fault. Show them that adults made this decision based on the challenges in the relationship. Not because of them.
Avoid saying bad things about the other parent. Even when you are angry. Don't talk about it in front of your child.
Each child needs to feel that each parent is of value and respected.
Work with a parenting expert or a family therapist experienced with divorce. They will guide you on how to handle children in this tough situation.
Children also feel relieved when they talk to therapists on their own. They express themselves more especially on what they can't tell their parents.
Allow children to visit their father's or mother's new apartment after divorce. Give them permission to carry their toys and clothes along.
This will make them feel comfortable in their two new homes.
Sum it Up
Divorce can be inevitable
But the bottom line is our child must live a full life.
There is no option both parents must be present in raising the child.
Think about it.
Now go out and do it. Make a plan to support your child to adjust to divorce.
Try it out and tell us how it works in the comment section below.