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Helping Your Children After Divorce Means Helping Yourself Too

Posted on in Divorce

children of divorce, Naperville family law attorneyDivorce is a challenging process for everyone involved. While you cope with your emotions, your children are processing their own feelings. Parents often feel guilty when it comes to divorce and their children. No, your children most likely did not ask for you and your spouse to separate, and they may struggle during the initial transition time. That does not mean divorce was the wrong decision. Instead of dwelling on guilt, focus on ways to help your children cope with the process and come out feeling loved and supported.

As a parent, you can help your children in a number of ways. You can reassure them, provide as stable a transition as possible, and work through any issues with your ex to ensure your children will continue to have both parents in their lives. All of this on top of dealing with your own emotions can be difficult. Too often, parents prioritize their children over themselves when coping with divorce. While your children do deserve extra support, you can only be your most effective self when you have taken care of you. Remember the saying on an airplane? “Secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” You need to take care of yourself first, so you can be the best parent possible for your children during this challenging time.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Parents lead by example. If you are are still struggling with unresolved feelings about your divorce, find ways to cope without alarming your children. If you are calm and collected, your children are likely to follow suit. Exercise is a great way to process emotions and release pent up stress. It can also help relieve negative emotions like anger and frustration that people commonly face after divorce. Try sticking to a healthy diet as well. While you may lack the motivation to cook, healthy food will keep you feeling better inside and out, so you can be present for your children.

Your children will notice if you hole up in your house after your divorce, so do your best to get out often. Visit friends, family members, and consider activities that may help distract you from your own feelings. Friends and family members can also help you process your emotions, so you do not end up venting to your children. If friends and family members are not available, consider keeping a journal and release your thoughts there. All too often, parents place their children in the uncomfortable position of feeling like they need to choose one parent over the other. If you need to vent about your ex, do so elsewhere. You and your now co-parent need to present a united front as much as possible.

Find Support

No one expects the transition from married parenting to single parenting to be easy. You will most likely need help, at least when starting out. Call on friends or family members to help you if needed. Let people know how they can help. Do you need someone to watch your kids while you meet with your attorney? Maybe you simply need a little help cooking for your family? Do not feel like you are expected to handle your divorce and your children on your own. Find support, so your children do not see you overwhelmed.

Professional help may also be necessary. A therapist can help you resolve any emotions with which you may be struggling. If co-parenting is a challenge for you and your ex, a mediator can help. Try your best to solve these problems as soon after the divorce as possible, so you and your ex can be the best parents you can be moving forward.

Considering Divorce? An Attorney Can Help

Divorce can be challenging for you and your children, but you do not have to go through it alone. The experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C., are here to help you today. We offer a variety of divorce solutions, including mediation and collaborative strategies, to help you and your family have as smooth a divorce as possible. Call 630-352-2240 to get started with an affordable and experienced divorce attorney today.

Source:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/family-divorce/children-and-divorce.htm#yourself

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